Paula Deen Has Diabetes

The Food Network star has confirmed with iVillage that she has type 2 diabetes

Paula Deen, the doyenne of Southern-fried cooking, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008, but she chose to deal with it privately -- until now.

Diabetes is a dangerous condition -- it ups your risk for heart disease, nerve pain, kidney disease and the list goes on. The best way to lower that risk is to control your blood sugar consistently. So while some fans feel betrayed that Deen took so long to fess up, Deen is using her personal experience with managing diabetes to launch Diabetes in a New Light in partnership with drug company Novo Nordisk (Deen is on one of their medications). The campaign’s goal is to help the 26 million other Americans with type 2 diabetes make the lifestyle changes needed to manage the disease, like exercising and eating a balanced diet to consistently control blood sugar.

Deen’s sons -- and restaurant partners -- Bobby and Jamie Deen are involved, too. The family cooking team is lightening up Deen’s recipes to make them diabetes friendly. Wanting to share a “positive approach,” Deen says she wants to “show others that managing diabetes does not have to stop you from enjoying the things you love.”

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