Paula Deen to Address Diabetes Rumors on Today Show

Celebrity News Jan. 13, 2012 AT 7:52PM
Paula Deen to Address Diabetes Rumors on Today Show Credit: Bobby Bank/FilmMagic

Paula Deen's ready to talk, y'all.

The celebrity chef plans to set the record straight regarding dogged rumors that she has type 2 diabetes in a TODAY Show interview with Al Roker next Tuesday. The Southern-accented Food Network star and cookbook author, 64, became a household name for her decadent comfort food recipes heavy on fried food, butter and other fatty ingredients.

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An April 2010 National Enquirer story first alleging the diagnosis resurfaced on Friday, when The Daily reported that Deen plans to confirm the news -- and that she's signed on to be the spokeswoman for a Novartis drug that treats the disease.

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(A Novartis rep told CBSNews that talk of an endorsement deal was false.)

The author of five cookbooks has been slammed by the likes of fellow TV food personality Anthony Bourdain (he called her "the worst, most dangerous person to America" for her unhealthy recipes) and Barbara Walters, who accused her in 2009 of encouraging childhood obesity.

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Paula's son Bobby Deen now offers lower-calorie versions of his mom's calorie-packed recipes on his Cooking Channel show Not My Mama's Meals.

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