Doughnut-burger chef admits she has diabetes
PAULA Deen, an American celebrity chef famous for her decadent recipes, has announced she has Type 2 diabetes and is converting to healthier eating.
The 64-year-old (inset right), once described as the "Southern belle of butter and heavy cream", had become a focal point for debate about obesity in the US.
She was infamous for showing television viewers how to make dishes such as fried macaroni and cheese wrapped in bacon, and her "brunch burger" featuring beef, bacon and a fried egg placed between two glazed doughnuts.
Ms Deen's high-calorie comfort food recipes, many featuring ample slabs of butter, are detailed in popular cookbooks and she rose to fame on US television's Food Network in shows like Paula's Home Cooking and Paula's Best Dishes.
Fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once called her "the worst, most dangerous person to America" and accused her of being "proud of the fact that her food is bad for you".
Type 2 diabetes accounts for most of the 26 million diabetes cases in the US. It is usually linked to older age, obesity and physical inactivity or a family history of the disease.
Ms Deen said she was diagnosed in 2008. She faced criticism for having kept the diagnosis private for three years while still cooking unhealthy food on her show. Mr Bourdain said: "When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 diabetes, it's in bad taste if nothing else."