December 29, 2010
Thinktank Debunks Wildest Celebrity Health Theories Of 2010
The wildest, craziest, and just plain dumbest celebrity claims about healthcare topics such as diet and exercise are featured in a new list compiled by researchers at Sense About Science (SAS), a UK-based group dedicated towards promoting sound science and debunking myths and inaccuracies.
According to the group's official website, this past year saw "the biggest rise in dubious theories about how the body works, such as singer and actress Olivia Newton-John saying that she takes digestive enzymes and plant tonics to boost her immune system"¦. [and] strange diets, from Naomi Campbell's maple syrup, lemon and pepper regime to Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding sprinkling charcoal over her meals" believing that it absorbs harmful substances in the body.
The organization also mentioned a diet, popularized by Campbell and actors Aston Kutcher and Demi Moore, which tells people to consume nothing but maple syrup, lemon, and pepper for up to 14 days, according to AFP. Reportedly, during a May appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show, Campbell said that the unusual diet was "good to clean out your body once in a while."
"In sport and fitness, cage fighter Alex Reid shared his tips for preparing for a fight (he 'reabsorbs' his sperm). David Beckham and Kate Middleton have been spotted wearing a hologram-embedded silicone bracelet which claims to improve energy and fitness. And Cheryl Cole reputedly extolled a weight loss regime based on her blood group," the SAS added.
The list features each of the outrageous claims made by celebrities, and follows them up with a rebuttal from medical experts, including Dr. Melita Gordon, a gastroenterologist at Royal Liverpool University Hospital; Anna Raymond, a dietitian with the British Dietetic Association; and Sports Science Professor Greg Whyte from Liverpool John Moores University. The list is available at the SAS website.
"When people in the public eye give opinions about causes of disease, cures, diets, or products we should buy or avoid, that's it. Their opinion goes worldwide in seconds," SAS Assistant Director Lindsay Hogg said in a statement. "It gets public attention and appears in every related Google search for months. So if it's scientifically wrong, we're stuck with the fall-out from that. We have thousands of scientists who are willing to look at claims about medicine and science. We'd like to see more celebrities checking out the science before they open their mouths and send the wrong thing viral."
Image Caption: Power Balance Silicone Wristband, worn by David Beckham and Kate Middleton reportedly helps improve energy and fitness.
On the Net:
- Sense About Science (SAS)
- Royal Liverpool University Hospital
- British Dietetic Association
- Liverpool John Moores University