Paula Deen, a celebrity chef known for her succulent and hearty food, announced several weeks ago that she has had type 2 diabetes for three years and that she has no plans to change the way she eats, instead preaching moderation. She also revealed that she’ll be backing “Diabetes in a New Light,” a program that includes the injectable prescription drug Victoza.
But perhaps celebrity endorsements shouldn’t include prescription pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Arthur Caplan, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at Penn, tells CBS News that celebrities endorsing drugs raises several ethical questions – are the celebrities even taking the drugs they are endorsing? What happens if the drug has side effects or is subject to a recall?
“Why would we put trust in what they have to say about drugs, devices, or vaccines?” says Caplan, but adds, “A lot of people clearly get their medical advice from commercials since that’s what companies are spending their money on.”
Meanwhile, the New York Times had one of Deen’s famous recipes analyzed at a lab – a reasonably-sized portion of fried chicken with mac ‘n’ cheese and collard greens. The results came back with 2,160 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of fat, 51 grams of protein and 5 grams of sugar for 830 total calories. The only thing good about those results is the sugar content.
The portion pictured in the article is not an enormous portion by any stretch of the imagination. Is that the moderation she’s talking about?