Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on HealthNewsReview.org came to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.

Cautions about celebrity health advice

Posted By

Tags

USA Today’s Liz Szabo reports on the good and bad that can come from celebrity health crusades. Excerpt:

“Experts say most of actress Suzanne Somers’ advice in her new book, Knockout, is wrongheaded or even risky. Doctors and patient advocates say they’re concerned that the actress champions alternative therapies over those with proven value.”

But she also touches on health “campaigns” – for lack of a better word – involving Tom Cruise, Jenny McCarthy, Magic Johnson, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Lance Armstrong, Katie Couric and others.

Australian journalist Ray Moynihan has written quite a bit about his concerns about celebrity marketing of disease and of treatments. For example:

“Celebrities paid by drug companies to promote drugs, or ‘raise awareness’ about disease, should be subject to the same rules as direct-to-consumer advertising, which would mean prohibition in many nations and much more fulsome disclosure in the United States than is currently the case. At the very least, public disclosure of a product’s risks and benefits, and the magnitude of the celebrity’s fee, should be mandatory and routine.”

You might also like

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

Don

December 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Thanks for the posting.
I agree 100% with Ray Moynihan regarding holding celebrities accountable in some way, or at least subjecting them to the same rules.
Although I work in clinical trials, I do beleive there are other methods that should be used in addition to medical means.