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Video: Dr. Nancy: ‘Paula Deen’s behavior is egregious’

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    >> that today's professionals will be tacking after a break. ling after a break.

    >>> we're back now at 8:10 with a brand-new edition of today's professionals, star jones , donny deutsch and dr. nancy snyderman are ready to dish out. nancy has gone the extra mile to join us, she's in fort myers , florida. nice to see you all.

    >> hi, matt.

    >> let us start with something that happened on this program on tuesday. paula deen , the famous southern chef who likes the comfort food , lifestyle, came on the program and announced three years ago she was diagnosed with type ii diabetes , she has continued to go on this show and her own show and bring out the recipes high in fat and butter and calories. and we know that diet is one contributing factor to diabetes. nancy , i'll start with you, did paula deen do her audience a disservice by waiting three years to come forward with the news.

    >> her behavior is egregious. paula deen had a chance to do right thing and she blew it let's be real. you can't blame your genes for everything. and as a southerner, we know that obesity is the number one killer of for people with heart disease , diabetes, it's now an independent risk factor for cancer. if you're going to eat a diet high in sugar, fat and salt and then say, oh, by the way, it had nothing to do with how i am, and then foe three years, sit on that information and then make a seed deal with a pharmaceutical company to treat the problem? the real problem is to prevent the diabetes, not to treat it after the fact. absolutely blew it.

    >> guys, weigh in.

    >> i can, i can tell you my heart says, everybody has the right to reserve their own health information for when they're ready to handle it. and i know a little something about that. but what you don't have a right to do. is then to profit from it and that's when you make the decision to come out with the information. that will damage your brain.

    >> time-out. first of all, i'm not a believer that she makes america eat butter and --

    >> absolutely.

    >> she is who we are. this country wants to eat and then we have to pay the price for solving it.

    >> donny, you're wrong.

    >> what do you mean, i'm wrong? what am i wrong about?

    >> here's what you're wrong about. people absolutely watch celebrity chefs. they watch these people as iconic figures. so she's in fact saying, this is yummy and it is yummy. and you can make it and at the same time talk portion control ? give me a break. you're absolutely wrong.

    >> all i'm saying is she is a symbol of who we are as a nation and we want to indulge.

    >> and that's wrong.

    >> then let's indict our whole society.

    >> get on the part with the deal with the drug manufacturer. how do you feel about that part?

    >> i feel it's a smart deal for the drug manufacturer and she should do what she should do. let's hold, us accountable. she's no different than this country.

    >> it's not even about the obesity issue. it's about what the audience will ultimately say. were you telling the truth to me when you say this is what you eat? i know --

    >> that's --

    >> in ten seconds, nancy , you say her behavior is egregious. could she become a force for good in this, somehow?

    >> the right thing to do is say, folks, guess what, you're my following. i love you. this is southern cooking, this is part of my dna. but guess what, i'm sick now. so follow me as i change the recipes we know and love and make them better. because you know what, america, i want to lead you to a better place . that's the right thing to do.

    >> let's hope that happens. let me move on to this subject. you're involved in a relationship, you're married or deeting somebody. you get to the period in the relationship where there's a commitment. is a good way to show that commitment sharing, by sharing your passwords to online accounts and things like that with the significant other. donny, go?

    >> my password is leo, 4567. if that's what it comes down to to show a commitment, we've got a problem. i believe as individuals or as couples, you decide what level of connection. but i do think we live in a world where privacy is okay. there's such an overexposure.

    >> would you share your passwords with a significant other?

    >> i'm very practical. significant others don't last all the time. and for always and i've got to tell you, i'm not giving you my password that has all of my personal and private information.

    >> what about like netflix passwords. you're not going to give the code to your american express card .

    >> correct, netflix password is fine. but what i'm not going to do is give you information that can be used against me later on, if we're no longer together.

    >> nancy , is it a situation, should be it mutually assured destruction, like the cold war ? in other words, if i give you my password, you have to give me yours?

    >> you know, you show me yours , i'll show you mine? no, listen, i'm with ann on this one. if she doesn't show her husband, i'm not showing mine.

    >> let me move onto the next one. i've got two minutes left. chris christie was on the show yesterday, he's someone who generate a lot of buzz in politics. they've been talking about him as a possible presidential candidate , he's brash, he's blunt. he's also like millions of americans, someone who struggles with his weight. he talked about it to oprah. if he decides to go on and seek higher office, in other words, the highest office in this land, will his weight be an issue?

    >> it will be an issue for his opponents.

    >> should it be yeah?

    >> yeah, honestly. what's going to happen, any time you put yourself out there in the political sphere, every aspect of your life is open to scrutiny. and one of the things they're going to talk about is can you control yourself. if you can't control yourself, can you control your administration.

    >> i actually think it helps his brand. people want nonpoliticians. he looks like us. having said that, once in office, it would bring up actual physical challenges for that job. but actually i think it adds to his brand.

    >> nancy if he's the most qualified candidate in an upcoming race for president, are people going to hold it against him?

    >> matt, if he showed up today and said, i want to join the u.s. army , he would not meet the qualifications to serve. so how can he be the commander-in-chief? it's time to elect a man who has the fortitude to push himself away from the table and leave.

    >> keep in mind, he looks like a lot of people in this country.

    >> but a lot of people aren't ready to be the president.

    >> maybe our leaders aren't supposed to look like us. maybe our leaders are supposed to be smarter than we are, leaner than we are that's why they're called leaders. i don't want joe schmoe next to me.

    >> the guy is --

    >> what's wrong with you guys this morning?

    >> nancy , you're in naples, so you're whacked out. joe schmoe , because he's heavy? you're tough when you're not with us.

    >> it's not about him being overweight. it's about the perception of how people who are overweight are perceived. they think we are, we lack discipline. if you lack discipline in your personal life , the question will be will you lack discipline when it comes to making the hard decisions. i know what the feeling is.

    >> i know he's smart and a great politician and he's going to run. i happen to thing he has a lot of interesting guys and he's a guy to watch.

TODAY contributor
updated 1/19/2012 9:11:17 AM ET 2012-01-19T14:11:17

Celebrity cook Paula Deen’s revelation Tuesday that she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years ago has people talking, including TODAY’s Professionals: Star Jones, Donny Deutsch, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Deen had already been the target of criticism — particularly from acerbic chef Anthony Bourdain — for the high content of fat, sugar and salt in her Southern-style recipes, and the clamor has only grown louder since she admitted she has diabetes, for which a diet high in fat is a major risk factor.

Video: Paula Deen: Diabetes is ‘not a death sentence’

Deen’s critics are also pointing to her position as a paid spokesman for a major pharmaceutical company's diabetes management program, accusing her of exploiting her own medical condition for profit. On Wednesday Deen pledged a portion of her earnings from the sponsorship to the American Diabetes Association. But that didn’t stop Snyderman, who is TODAY’s chief medical correspondent, from joining the anti-Deen chorus today, calling her conduct “egregious.”

Opinion: The hypocrisy of Deen's diabetes confession

But Deen has her supporters as well, particularly in Savannah, Ga., her hometown and the locale of her restaurant The Lady & Sons, whose offerings include a burger served on doughnuts. Yet others feel that Deen now has a teaching opportunity to use her celebrity to proselytize leaner, healthier cooking for an America stricken with an obesity epidemic.

Story: Diabetes shame plus denial a risky combo

How do you feel about the issue? Should Paula Deen change her ways? Or is diet a personal choice that’s nobody else’s business? Vote below!

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Vote: Should Paula Deen change her cooking style?

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