Remember a few years ago when everyone was drinking that weird mix of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup because Beyonce reportedly drank the stuff to lose weight?
It wasn’t the first time, and certainly not the last time a diet, supplement, or detox has been made famous (…or infamous?) because a celebrity told us it works. We’ve always been a society obsessed with what the stars are doing and since they’re in the business of looking good it’s easy to see why they become “experts” on a healthy lifestyle. Take a look at the cover of any magazine. There’s a very good chance that it promises some tips and tricks to help you look like whatever celebrity is gracing the cover.
But if it seems too good to be true, it definitely is! Celebrities are a terrible source of nutrition and health advice, and can often do more harm than good when sharing their personal diet philosophy or fitness regime with their fans.
Here are a few reasons why….
Celebrities get paid big bucks to endorse products.
What’s the best way to boost the sales of your diet pills or protein shakes? Put them in the hands of a celeb.
Nothing is more powerful in our social-media centered world than an influential person telling us where to spend our money. Social media has given fans closer access to their favorite celebrities than ever before, and stars who capitalize on that engagement can make huge financial gains. Kim Kardashian was recently blasted online after she posted this instagram photo promoting an appetite-suppressing lollipop (below). This sparked some serious negative feedback, and the controversial post was removed shortly after. Many people (myself included) were outraged that she would promote these type of unhealthy dieting behaviours to her social media followers, most of whom are young girls and women.
Celebrities like the Kardashians notoriously promote all kinds of products on their social media feeds, but that doesn’t actually mean the things they endorse are legit. Any company willing to spend the money can “purchase” an ad from any number of these “social media influencers”. The price of a sponsored Instagram post from Kim K is reported to be upwards of $250,000. It’s all about the money.
Companies will even try to fabricate product endorsements with sneaky tactics…
A few days after the Royal Wedding, this picture surfaced of The Duchess of Sussex holding a package of some homeopathic remedy (…something to do with duck liver?). The Alberta Association of Naturopathic Doctors tried using this image to promote homeopathy since obviously this picture of Meghan Markle with the box means she uses the product, endorses the product, therefore it must work…because she’s famous?
A picture of a celebrity holding a product attempts to boost credibility where there is none. Homeopathy is a widely debunked practice with absolutely no science to back it up.
Celebrities start wellness companies for their own benefit, not yours.
GOOP, The Honest Company, Hallewood, WelleCo, Urban Remedy are just a few of the celebrity-owned companies out there that sell nutrition and wellness products (if you add in the skincare ones the list would easily double.
Let’s face it, these companies are started as an additional source of income for celebrities who perhaps want to step out of the spotlight but still be rich.
The problem? 99% of it is all BS. Gwyneth Paltrow (the founder of GOOP) even admitted on Jimmy Kimmel last year that she has no idea “what they talk about” on her website. These over-the-top expensive products are promoted under her brand name, but she is completely out of the loop. Her star-status is all that’s needed to push product and put money in her pocket. In 2016 GOOP profited an estimated $15-$20 million dollars. Not bad.
Some celebrities have even taken to writing books, telling the rest of us how to live based on their personal opinions on health and fitness. Tom Brady recently published the TB12 Method, a book meant to share with all of us his secrets for success and longevity in sports. The book is full of some pretty wacky stuff when it comes to fitness, but the nutrition advice is even more absurd. Tom follows a strict “alkaline diet” (which is based on complete pseudoscience). He eats no nightshade vegetables, mushrooms, gluten, white sugar, MSG, canola oil, olive oil, corn, pasta, dairy, GMOs, soy, artificial sweeteners, potatoes, artificial sweeteners, grains, fruit juice, or condiments. Seriously, what is even left??
The problem with Tom Brady’s outlook on health and wellness though, it that most of it is based on absolutely nothing. There is no reason why any of us should avoid nightshade vegetables (like eggplant or bell peppers), mushrooms, gluten, cooking oils, soy, or any of the other random things he has chosen to eliminate. The information he shares in his book is false, but as a prominent figure in sports he appears credible based on his status. He doesn’t even need to worry about what to feed his family on a daily basis, because the Bradys have a personal chef who prepares all their meals. It’s pretty easy to stand up on your soapbox and tell everyone else how to live when you don’t actually need to do it yourself.
The truth is, celebrities aren’t experts on health, nutrition, or fitness. They have teams of trainers, private chefs, coaches, stylists, makeup artists, and photo editors making sure they look the way they need to for a role or a walk down the red carpet. They can afford to have someone cooking all of their meals and look after their children while they hit the gym for hours every day. They live in a completely different world than most of us, and their impractical nutrition, fitness, and supplement advice just doesn’t translate to the real world.
My advice? leave all of the trends, detoxes, diets, and supplements behind. Rather than spending your hard-earned money on a bunch of pills or shakes, invest in your health for real by buying more fresh, whole foods. Spend more time cooking healthy meals and enjoying healthy food instead of paying attention to what all the stars are doing. Make YOU the focus of your health!