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Laurie David Headshot

Paula Deen Should Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

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Dear Paula Deen,

I can't stop thinking about you. Worrying, really, because from the text of your tweets it sounds like you aren't really on board for the lifestyle overhaul your diabetes diagnosis demands. I am sure you are stressed too from the public relations debacle your affiliation with a pharmaceutical company is causing. Oh, and people are upset about the three years you kept silent about your disease while continuing to pitch disease causing foods on all those morning shows.

But how about turning lemons into lemonade (preferably sweetened with just a touch of stevia)! You can still come out of this not only saving your life but potentially the lives of many of your followers. Now that is powerful! Talk about an Oprah moment. We may even have to update that expression to a "Paula Deen" moment. What a beautiful turnaround of events!

Diabetes is an American problem and unfortunately, you are not alone. 24 million American adults and children have diabetes, an increase of more than 3 million people in two years. 74 million people today have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts a person at an increased risk of developing the disease. It was this rapid and alarming increase in diabetes and obesity that led to the now too common lament that for the first time in history, younger generations are on a course to lead shorter life spans than their predecessors.

Back to your situation. I urge you to grab this teachable moment with all the gusto, charm and humor which you have used to turn a poor but determined lunch lady into a multimillion dollar celebrity chef. Paula, this problem, yours and America's, won't be solved with a prescription from the pharmacy. But it can be solved with changes in the way you -- all of us -- cook, and eat.

Read the studies, watch the documentary Forks Over Knives, get really serious about what you are promoting in your recipes. We need to eat less fat, less meat, less dairy, burn more calories and get our bodies working right. Be the example America needs.

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