Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Southern Belle Tolls

True story: a few years back, my better half and I were watching Paula's Kitchen on the Food Network, when we heard a distinct - and unmistakeable - sound. We turned to each other and asked, "did they just bleep Paula Deen?!"

Indeed they had. First, last and only time we'd ever heard a bleep on Food Network.

I was reminded of that experience when this appeared on the radar:

"Drug giant Novo Nordisk has nabbed Paula Deen ... as a new spokeswoman to help raise awareness about type 2 diabetes – which she has."

Well, that last is no real surprise, but what is news here is that "Deen had profited from making herself and others diabetic, and that now she would make more money selling drugs to make those same people better."

Sort of a "Backdraft" moment, no?

So the question becomes: is this a conflict of interest? After all, one could argue that she encouraged eating behaviors that could easily lead to developing diabetes, a risk that could have been avoided by pushing healthier recipes.

I don't think it's that simple: for one thing, these kinds of shows are as much entertainment as educational. And let's face it, no one's forcing you to make deep-fried butter-balls topped with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.

(Although that sounds delicious!)

And certainly more than a few of her fellow diabetes patients see her "as a fellow traveler, different from the doctors and health nuts who are lecturing them about what they eat." In fact, she may actually have more credibility, given her own food proclivities and history.

Which brings us to this obesity-related item sent in by FoIB Holly R:

"As one of the many outgrowths of [ObamneyCare©], health insurers and employers must now pay the cost of screening children for obesity and providing them with appropriate counseling."

Of course, insurers and employers don't actually pay for any of this: their insureds and employees do, in the form of higher premiums.

On the one hand, it's in the bill we had to pass to learn what was in it. On the other hand, well, the Law of Unintended Consequences is a brutal mistress:

"Other than intensive hospital-based programs, few proven models exist for helping children and adolescents achieve and maintain a healthier weight, and researchers do not even fully understand the factors that contributed to the rapid rise in childhood obesity in recent years."

We don't know what causes this, but the answer is obvious: Quick, throw more money at it!

Why not just block Paula's Kitchen?
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