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Paula Deen diabetic?

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If Paula Deen is going to make an announcement about her health tomorrow, it won't come as big news to diners who ate at her restaurant today.

"Southern cooking,'' said Sheila Lilley, who traveled from Houston to eat at Lady and Sons, "involves a lot of butter and sugar and cream.''

There have multiple Internet reports that the queen of Southern comfort food will confirm as early as tomorrow that she has Type Two Diabetes, a metabolic disorder often linked to obesity.

If so, it could mean changes for her own diet and possibly the career built on sticks of butter and mounds of sugar.

"I know that if you are diabetic, then your diet definitely can make your diabetes worse,'' said Savannah's Marilyn Johnson, who ate at Deen's restaurant Monday. "I just hope she's looking at her diet now. I'm sure she is and probably adjusting it because of the illness. So I just wish her well.''

Any announcement, though, is unlikely to deter the hungry visitors who still wait to get into the Lady and Sons and taste the deep-fried fare they say is only an occasional treat.

"I still think I would eat the food, just try to stay active between the meals,'' said John Amnah, of Charleston. "But the food's really good.''

"I'm fully aware of dietary implications regarding diabetes, diabetes runs in my family,'' added Johnson. "So, when I'm cooking for my family, I have certain things I keep in mind. But eating out at a restaurant every once in a while, I think you allow yourself to enjoy some things you might not enjoy on a regular basis.''

Dan Moran traveled to Savannah from Bridgeport, Ohio at least in part to try some of the dishes he has watched Deen prepare on the Food Network for years.

"I'm a visitor here and I heard about the restaurant and I want to come enjoy a nice, comfortable meal,'' said Moran. "As long as she's a good cook, it doesn't matter to me.''

But the international celebrity has become more than a cook.

And Deen's her fans say that would give her a unique platform from which to raise awareness about diabetes.

"I think,'' said Lilley, "it would be a good segue into teaching people to cook in moderation as far as all the fried foods and everything.''

 "She's a popular person and her voice is heard,'' added Moran. She'd make people aware of it. And if the illness was bothering her, she could more or less guide people to the proper eating and things like that.''

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