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Old 17th January 2012, 05:56 AM
Pharma Newshound Pharma Newshound is offline
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Default Paula Deen Now Novo Nordisk Diabetes Paid Spokesperson

Source: USA Today

NEW YORK – Paula Deen, the warm, down-home cooking star known for her Southern recipes loaded with butter and sugar, says she decided not to talk about type 2 diabetes when she found out she had it three years ago. But beginning today, she's going public in a big way.

Paula Deen spreads word about diabetes in down-home manner

By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Paula Deen is announcing that she has type 2 diabetes. She is modifying some of her recipes with sons Bobby, right, and Jamie.

"I made the choice at the time to keep it close to me, to keep it close to my chest," she told USATODAY in her first interview about the disease. "I felt like I had nothing to offer anybody other than the announcement. I wasn't armed with enough knowledge. I knew when it was time, it would be in God's time."
Deen, 64, star of Food Network's Paula's Best Dishes, built her career by making calorie-rich, indulgent recipes such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and rich desserts, the kind of foods that can contribute to obesity, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

She says her delay in talking about the disease had nothing to do with fear about hurting her reputation. "That was not why. My knowledge about the disease was very limited. But now I'm coming with good information, something that can help and bring hope to other people. It may sound cliché, but it's the God-honest truth."
Facts about diabetes:

Almost 26 million people have diabetes; 18.8 million people diagnosed and 7 million undiagnosed.

People are at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or obese, have a family history of the disease, are 45 or older, are not physically active, had diabetes while pregnant or are African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander.

The long-term complications of the disease can include heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and amputations. Source: American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
On Monday, Deen was in New York, preparing for interviews to talk about her new role. Wearing a turquoise blouse that matched her bright blue eyes, she greeted everyone she met with her megawatt smile, hug and "Hi, y'all."
Today's announcement comes after a couple of years of speculation in the tabloids and lots of buzz on the blogosphere over the weekend.

She is giving details now as part of the launch of a campaign, Diabetes in a New Light (, in partnership with Novo Nordisk, a maker of diabetes medications. She uses the company's Victoza, a once-daily, non-insulin injection that may improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes when used along with diet and exercise.

Deen says that when Novo Nordisk representatives first approached her, they challenged her to make some of her recipes more diabetic-friendly. They didn't know she had the disease, and she said to them, "How did you know I had type 2 diabetes?"

For the initiative, Deen and her sons, Jamie and Bobby, have created lightened-up versions of some of their classic recipes for people with the disease. The family is appearing in a new ad campaign for Victoza this month. Yes, she's being paid for her new role with the drugmaker, Deen says. "Talking about money is garish. It's tacky. But, of course, I'm been compensated for my time. That's the way our world works."

She knows that she may be facing criticism and be the brunt of jokes after her announcement today. "I don't care what the haters and naysayers say. If they make jokes about me, I'll laugh because they'll probably be funny."
She says she's "at peace" with her decision to share the fact that she has the disease and with her career celebrating classic Southern recipes. "I have no regrets."

Almost 26 million adults and children in the USA have diabetes, government statistics show. There are two major forms: type 1 and 2. Type 2 accounts for more than 90% of the cases. Factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 include a family history, obesity, inactivity and age.

In people with diabetes, the body does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or it doesn't use it properly. Insulin helps glucose (sugar) get into cells, where it is used for energy. If there's an insulin problem, sugar builds up in the blood, damaging nerves and blood vessels.

Type 2 diabetes is like "Russian roulette" when it comes to whom it's going to strike, Deen says. "It's about heredity. It's about age, lifestyle, race. I'm the only one in my family who has it. My grandmother cooked and ate like I ate, and she didn't have it."

Deen says that when she first heard she had the disease in 2008, she was surprised and "a little sad because I thought my whole life was going to have to change, and I like my life."

But after a conversation with her own doctor "and Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of my precious friends, I realized you can live a full life." Deen says her blood sugar "is good. It's under control."

Besides using the medication, Deen is walking a mile or more a day on the treadmill and no longer drinking sweet tea. "That's a big trick for a little Southern girl. I calculated how much sugar I drank in empty calories, and it was staggering. I would start drinking tea at lunchtime and drank it all the way to bedtime."

She hasn't made a lot of other changes in how she eats and cooks, because "I've tried to use moderation since I hit a certain age."

She has dropped a size in clothes since the diagnosis. "I wasn't trying to lose weight. I don't even own a scale. I go strictly by the way I feel and the way my clothes feel." When she's out and about, people often say to her, "Gosh you're not nearly as fat in person." Her response: "Well, thank you, I guess."
"TV really packs it on you. They say you look 10 pounds heavier, but I think it's more like 30."

Deen's rags-to-riches story is the stuff of novels. Born in Albany, Ga., she married her high school boyfriend and had two sons. Her parents died when she was a young mother, and afterward, she struggled with agoraphobia and sometimes had panic attacks when she left the house. In 1987, the family moved to Savannah, and she continued to struggle emotionally.

"All I did for two months was lay in bed and cry. Every day was filled with hopelessness," she says.

Then one morning, the Serenity Prayer "jumped in my head, and I thought, 'I'm supposed to be asking God to give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.' "

In 1989, she had $200 to her name when she launched her own catering business, The Bag Lady, preparing gourmet lunches to sell to people at downtown businesses. Based on that success, she opened her own restaurant, The Lady, at a Best Western in 1991. The next year, she and her husband divorced. A few years later, she moved her restaurant to another location and dubbed it The Lady & Sons.

In 2002, she got her own show on Food Network called Paula's Home Cooking (now titled Paula's Best Dishes); in 2006, she was the host of Paula's Party. She has won two Emmy Awards, written 14 cookbooks and has her own bimonthly magazine, Cooking With Paula Deen. In 2004, she married Michael Groover, a harbor pilot on the Savannah River.

Deen says she's not going to change the focus of her cooking shows because of diabetes. "I suspect I'll stick to my roots but will say a little louder, 'Eat this in moderation.'"

"You don't want to make a steady diet of just lettuce. You don't want to make a steady diet of fried chicken."

She cooks the foods featured on her show only for the six weeks of the year when she is taping the show, but "I don't cook that way every day." She doesn't have fried chicken regularly, but "when you want fried chicken, nothing will take the place."

The same is true for some of her other favorite dishes. "I don't want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies."

Her sons agree that her typical meals at home are different from the ones on the show. "When we go to her house, we eat a lot of seafood, chicken on the grill, big chopped salads," says Jamie, 44, who helps manage the family restaurant and business.

Bobby Deen, 41, star of Cooking Channel's Not My Mama's Meals, which offers healthier versions of his mom's classic recipes, says, "Although my mother does cook traditional for 30 minutes each day (on TV), she only eats that way in moderation and encourages her viewers to do the same."

Geralyn Spollett, president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, says Deen will give people with the disease hope and perhaps motivate them to take care of themselves. "By telling her story, Paula is showing that diabetes can affect people from all walks of life."
Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and nutrition blogger at, says Deen makes "people feel good about eating high-calorie foods, but we're all responsible for the choices we make. There's no point in blaming Paula Deen or any other celebrity cook for our weight issues."

Says her son Jamie: "I hope people will recognize Mom as a fighter, a guiding force in their battle with whatever it might be.

"Mom has faced many challenges. She had agoraphobia, and it took a year for her to get in the car and drive around the block. Now she can stand up before a crowd and talk for an hour." He hopes his mother's story will inspire other people with diabetes to get take charge of their lives.

Paula Deen wants to encourage people who are at risk to be tested. And for people who already have diabetes, she wants them to know that "there are little things they can do every day" that will help them manage the disease.
"When it's said and done, the one thing I want to leave on this earth is hope. I have felt hopelessness, and it's a terrible feeling. Hopelessness will destroy you. I want to bring hope to other people."
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Old 17th January 2012, 06:24 AM
Pharma Newshound Pharma Newshound is offline
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Default Novo Nordisk Paula Deen Press Release

Novo Nordisk Partners with Paula Deen and Sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen, on National Diabetes Initiative

Paula Deen encourages others to see Diabetes in a New Light™, as she shares her personal diabetes story for the first time
PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Novo Nordisk, the world leader in diabetes care, is teaming up with American cooking stars Paula Deen and her sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen, to launch Diabetes in a New Light™, a national initiative to help adults find simple ways to manage everyday challenges associated with type 2 diabetes.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:


To coincide with the launch of Diabetes in a New Light™, Paula Deen is sharing her personal diabetes story for the first time.

"I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life," said Paula Deen, restaurateur, cookbook author and host of her own television show. "I'm excited to team up with Novo Nordisk on this initiative to show others that managing diabetes does not have to stop you from enjoying the things you love."

Diabetes in a New Light™ was developed to help the millions of Americans living with type 2 diabetes tackle some of the most common challenges associated with diabetes management. Resources will include how to prepare diabetes-friendly food without compromising taste, incorporating physical activity into everyday life, managing stress and working with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works for you. Through the program, the Deens are creating modified, diabetes-friendly versions of their favorite recipes and appearing at diabetes cooking events across the country.

People can visit the program's website,, to learn more about Paula's story, get the Deen's diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as tips and information about type 2 diabetes management.

"As the world leader in diabetes care, we are committed to helping people with diabetes live great, fulfilling lives," said Camille Lee, corporate vice president, Diabetes Marketing at Novo Nordisk. "We are thrilled that Paula, Bobby and Jamie Deen are part of this initiative that helps people embrace diabetes management in a more positive way."

"People may benefit from seeing how others successfully manage type 2 diabetes. Paula Deen, through her work with Diabetes in a New Light™, is likely to inspire many people living with type 2 diabetes to take a more positive approach to their diabetes care," said Geralyn Spollett, MSN, ANP-CS, CDE, president, Health Care & Education of the American Diabetes Association. "We commend her for speaking out on behalf of people with type 2 diabetes and welcome her to the Association's Stop Diabetes® movement."

Paula takes Victoza® (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection), a once-daily, non-insulin injection, as part of her treatment plan and continues to make lifestyle adjustments, including enjoying lightened-up versions of her favorite recipes.

About Type 2 Diabetes
In the United States alone, nearly 26 million people are affected by diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases. Diabetes is emerging as one of the most serious health problems of our time; the number of Americans with diabetes has tripled over the last 30 years.

About Victoza®
Victoza® (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection), is the first and only human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog that is 97 percent similar to endogenous human GLP-1. Like natural GLP-1, Victoza® works by stimulating the beta cells to release insulin only when blood sugar levels are high. Due to this glucose-dependent mechanism of action, Victoza® is associated with a low rate of hypoglycemia. The mechanism of blood sugar lowering also involves a delay in gastric emptying.

Victoza® was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 25, 2010, as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

As of October 2011, Victoza® has been commercially launched in more than 40 countries globally including the U.S., Canada, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, Russia, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the GULF, Malaysia and China as well as a number of other countries, and will be available in other markets throughout 2012.

Indications and Usage
Victoza® (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar (glucose) in adults with type 2 diabetes when used along with diet and exercise.

Victoza® (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes. Victoza® is not insulin and has not been studied in combination with insulin. Victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis. It is not known if Victoza® is safe and effective in children. Victoza® is not recommended for use in children.

Important Safety Information
In animal studies, Victoza® caused thyroid tumors – including thyroid cancer – in some rats and mice. It is not known whether Victoza® causes thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) in people which may be fatal if not detected and treated early. Do not use Victoza® if you or any of your family members have a history of MTC or if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). While taking Victoza®, tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) may be severe and lead to death. Before taking Victoza®, tell your doctor if you have pancreatitis, gallstones, a history of alcoholism, or high blood triglyceride levels since these medical conditions make you more likely to get pancreatitis.

Stop taking Victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have pain in your stomach area that is severe and will not go away, occurs with or without vomiting, or is felt going from your stomach area through to your back. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.

Before using Victoza®, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, especially sulfonylurea medicines or insulin, as taking them with Victoza® may affect how each medicine works.

Also tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Victoza®; have severe stomach problems such as slowed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems with digesting food; have or have had any kidney problems; have any other medical conditions; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is unknown if Victoza® will harm your unborn baby or if Victoza® passes into your breast milk.

Your risk for getting hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is higher if you take Victoza® with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea. The dose of your sulfonylurea medicine may need to be lowered while taking Victoza®.

Victoza® may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea leading to dehydration, which may cause kidney failure. This can happen in people who have never had kidney problems before. Drinking plenty of fluids may reduce your chance of dehydration.

The most common side effects with Victoza® (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) include headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Nausea is most common when first starting Victoza®, but decreases over time in most people. Immune system related reactions, including hives, were more common in people treated with Victoza® compared to people treated with other diabetes drugs in medical studies.

For full Victoza® Prescribing Information, please see or call 1-877-VICTOZA® (1-877-484-2869)
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