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Paula Deen Gets Healthy, Sheds 30 Pounds


The secret to losing weight? Getting paid millions to be the public (non-pudgy) face of a diabetes drug campaign.

Evidently, that has worked for celebrity chef Paula Deen, doyenne of Southern fried everything, who has lost 30 pounds since revealing six months ago  she had Type 2 diabetes and would be promoting a new diabetes drug.

You can see her newly svelte self on the cover of People magazine on Friday.

Since sharing her diabetes diagnosis, she tells People magazine she's avoided her trademark down-home fatty food and dropped from a size 18 to a size 10, reports

Deen, 65, told People the weight loss has made her feel "a thousand times better," adding that she gives herself an injection every day to control her blood-sugar levels. "I have more energy, I sleep better. The weight loss has made my health issues better," she told the magazine.

The Food Network star, who never met a stick of butter she didn't want to use in a recipe, was lambasted in January when it was announced that she had signed a multi-million dollar deal to be a spokesperson for Victoza -- a Type 2 diabetes drug made by Novo Nordisk.

She also confessed that she had known she was diabetic for three years, but didn't mention it publicly.

When criticized for pushing unhealthy food until it seemed more lucrative not to, Deen told NBC, "Honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor."

To which fellow chef Anthony Bourdain acerbically tweeted, "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."

Since the controversy, Deen said she has become "more aware" of what she's eating and has eliminated most fried food, substituting healthier choices like baked fish and Greek salad. She also said she's been eating smaller portions and walking 30 minutes daily.

Obesity and lack of exercise are risk factors for developing diabetes, but the American Diabetes Association says family history, ethnicity and age also play an important role.

More than one in four Americans over age 65 will develop diabetes.

In other health news:

Low-carb diet burns most calories in study. USA Today reports on a new study that questions whether all calories are created equal. The research finds that dieters who were trying to maintain their weight loss burned significantly more calories eating a low-carb diet than they did eating a low-fat diet. The participants burned about 300 calories more a day on a low-carb diet than they did on a low-fat diet. One man, who lost 40 pounds as a participant in the study, tells the Los Angeles Times what he learned trying the different diets.

How we die, now and then, in one clear chart. From the Washington Post comes a fascinating chart based on the New England Journal of Medicine's look back comparing what sent Americans to their graves a century ago and today. What's interesting to see is how much death rates have fallen from infectious diseases, like tuberculosis, but risen for heart disease and cancer. The Post's Sarah Kliff also notes that doctors today no longer discuss certain medical conditions, such as injuries from near-misses with cannonballs.

Bone marrow donors may be compensated after court ruling stands. Certain bone marrow donors could soon be compensated for their life-saving stem cells after federal officials declined to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing a lower court order to become law, reports. "This decision is a total game-changer," said Jeff Rowes, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which filed the lawsuit three years ago on behalf of cancer victims and others seeking bone marrow matches. "Any donor, any doctor, any patient across the country can use compensation in order to get bone marrow donors."

Photo credit: Ida Mae Astute/ABC/Getty Images

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