RENE SYLER: Should Paula Deen “Lighten Up”?

Paula Deen 250x300 The GEM Debate: Should Paula Deen Lighten Up?

First before I say anything else, let me say I love this woman. I met Paula Deen back when I was an anchor on that network morning broadcast and our paths crossed several times after that, most notably when I shot that pilot with her a few years back. Months later, she entertained Buff, me and the kids at her place and of course, they all fell in love with her. But what’s not to love, really?

So my heart was heavy when I heard her confirm rumors that she, like nearly 26 million people in this country suffer from diabetes. But even before people could digest that fact, she was in the center of a swirling storm with many wondering what role her love of rich, Southern (and often-times, unhealthy) food played in her condition.



The ladies of The View continued on with the topic today, asking whether Paula Deen has a responsibility to lighten up? Oh boy..

Here’s my take, and honestly I’m a little split on this. Look, yesterday she became arguably one of the most visible people living with this condition. We are a country of fat people and getting fatter all the time. We don’t exercise enough, we eat crap and it’s showing in our kids. Having said that, I must add most people are smart. Most everyone knows too much butter, sugar and fat is going to widen your load and put you in a small, pine box probably years before your time. Those who don’t are in denial. Is that Paula Deen’s fault? Yeah, um, no…

That’s my take, what about you. Do you think Paula Deen owes it to the public to change the way she cooks? Should she have been more forthcoming years ago when she was initially diagnosed? Can Paula Deen and her love of all things fried be blamed for the expanding waistlines in this country? Lemme hear ya!

René is the author of Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting and founder of its subsequent website,