Food Network star Paula Deen set the record straight on "The Today Show" on January 17 and confirmed that she does have Type 2 diabetes.
In an interview with Al Rocker, which can be seen below, Deen admitted that she was first diagnosed with the disease three years ago during a routine physical.
"I came home, I told my children, I told my husband, I said, 'I'm gonna keep this close to my chest for the time being' because I had to figure out things in my own head," she said.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, according to the Associated Press. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use it efficiently, allowing excess sugar, or glucose, to accumulate in the blood.
Rumors of her diabetes diagnosis were first reported back in May 2011 by the National Enquirer and on January 13, The Daily ran a report that she had signed on to endorse the diabetes drug Novartis.
However, Deen confirmed during her appearance that she is now a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, which supplies her diabetes medication. She will appear with her family in a new ad set to debut later this month. The company also recently launched a "Diabetes in a New Light" website featuring videos and recipes by the Food Network star.
On the site, Deen tells viewers she's made small changes in her lifestyle since her diagnosis by going on more walks with her husband and she has quit drinking sweet tea.
"I'm here today to let the world know that it is not a death sentence," Deen said during her "Today Show" appearance.
When pressed by Rocker about her butter-rich dishes playing a role in her diabetes diagnosis, Deen replied, "Here's the thing, you know, I've always encouraged moderation."
"On my show, you know, I share with you all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people 'in moderation... You can have that little piece of pie,'" she added.
Deen made headlines in August after exchanging words with Anthony Bourdain, who called her "the worst, most dangerous person in America."
"The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen," Bourdain, 55, told TV Guide at the time. "She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is (expletive) bad for you. If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks."
Deen responded on "Fox and Friends," saying she was shocked, considering she's never met Bourdain and wondered why he used "such harsh words."
"I don't know if it was a publicity thing of if someone had just peed in his bowl of cereal that morning and he was mad," Deen said. "Anthony, dear, I'm so sorry you feel that way."
Bourdain told the food blog Eater on January 16 that since rumors of Deen's diagnosis popped up "people have been calling looking for quotes."
He said he takes "no pleasure" in the fact that Deen has diabetes but added, "When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 Diabetes...It's in bad taste if nothing else."
Deen appeared on "Today" last year and said that the things she couldn't live without include butter and her deep-fryer. One of her most famous recipes is the Lady's Brunch Burger, which consists of bacon and egg on a hamburger served in a glazed doughnut.
When asked by Rocker if she will continue to eat her typical dishes, Deen said, "People see me on TV two or three times a day and they see me cooking all these wonderfully Southern, fattening dishes. That's only 30 days out of 365. And it's for entertainment. And people have to be responsible. Like I told Oprah a few years ago, honey, I'm your cook, not your doctor. You are going to have to be responsible for yourself."
The cookbook author's son Bobby Deen took a different approach on his Cooking Channel series "Not My Mama's Meals," where he creates lower calorie versions of his mother's recipes.