By Jeff Labrecque
January 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM EST

Paula Deen, the Southern-style cook whose drawl is as rich as some of her dishes, has Type 2 diabetes. She made the announcement yesterday in a release for her new Diabetes in a New Light website and products.

This morning on Today, the Food Network star admitted to Al Roker she learned of her diagnosis during a routine check-up three years ago but decided not to take that news public until she could “bring something to the table when I came forward.”

Deen, whose menu has been criticized by other celebrity chefs for being unhealthy, insisted to Roker that she always encouraged moderation when it comes to diet, including her own.

Watch the clip below:

Is the sad news that Deen has diabetes complicated in your mind by the fact that she’s now a paid spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company? Did she have any responsibility to share the news of her illness with her loyal foodies sooner?

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