New Book Suggests That We Should NOT Take Advice From Celebrities, Especially When it Comes to Our Health
A new book hit the online and traditional bookstores this past week titled Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash. From the title, it is easy to deduce the conclusions reached by the book’s author, Timothy Caulfield. Where many MD’s, scientists, and skeptics have had plenty to say about diets, fads, and outright ridiculous health advice coming from some the entertainment industry’s biggest celebrities, few (if any) have actually tried to follow the advice given. Caulfield has bravely dove head-first in to those dangerous waters. From the blurb on Amazon:
Over the past few decades, celebrity culture’s grip on our society has tightened. For Timothy Caulfield, a health science expert, this culture has a measurable influence on individual life choices and health-care decisions.
While acknowledging the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, Caulfield doesn’t mock those who enjoy it (in fact he loves celebrity culture.) But with a skeptic’s eye and a scientific lens, Caulfield identifies and debunks the messages and promises that flow from the celebrity realm, whether they are about health, diet, beauty, or what is supposed to make us happy.
As he did so convincingly in The Cure for Everything, Caulfield separates sense from nonsense and provides useable and evidence-informed advice about what actually works and what is a waste of money and time.
In typical Caulfield manner, it isn’t enough to just interview experts and read all of the current studies (which he does). He tries celebrity-recommended beauty routines and diets. After attending a modeling competition, he enrolls in an assessment/audition for a modeling agency in Hollywood. He follows celebrity Twitter feeds, reads gossip blogs and forces himself to read every issue – cover to cover – of People Magazine, for an entire year, in his quest to understand the relationship between celebrity culture and our individual health choices.
Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? is the question Caulfield sets out to answer in this fun, factual book that offers real advice.
Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. He has been the Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta since 1993. Over the past several years he has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavors that have allowed him to publish over 300 articles and book chapters.