Medical advice from the internet, celebrities.

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by gapsych, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
    Consumers are inundated with health advice from a host of sources: movie stars, TV docs and even the Internet.

    Thanks to the Internet, doctors say patients often come to their offices now toting pages and pages of medical information — with lots of questions about their health. But not all of the medical research on the Web is reliable, says Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    CELEBS: Are they crossing the line on medical advice?

    Before following any medical advice from the Internet, a celebrity or any other source, Briggs and other experts suggest that people think critically and talk to their doctors.

    Jeffrey White of the National Cancer Institute says consumers also should watch out for these red flags:

    1. A treatment is touted as a "cure," "miracle" or "breakthrough."

    If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. While many chronic diseases can be managed, there are relatively few true cures. People who promise dramatic recoveries may not be telling the whole truth. For example, someone may attribute her cancer recovery to dietary supplements, without mentioning she also had surgery and radiation.

    2. There's no mention of side effects.

    All drugs — even natural ones — have side effects. Promoters should be honest about side effects, as well as possible interactions with other conventional or alternative therapies. Promoters should also be honest about whom a therapy is most likely to help and who should avoid the drug.

    3. The promoter relies on anecdotes and personal testimonies.

    An anecdote may generate a hypothesis, which could lead to a clinical trial, but anecdotes, on their own, prove nothing. That's because anecdotes — including stories in which people made dramatic recoveries — can be misleading, because they don't tell you anything about the larger picture. Though 10 people may have done well taking an herb, hundreds of others may have gotten much sicker.

    4. There are no results from published clinical trials.

    Randomized clinical trials are considered the gold standard of medical evidence, and they're the only way to prove cause and effect.

    To gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration, companies typically must perform large studies in which they randomly assign one group to follow one regimen, such as taking a new drug, while a comparison group does something else, such as taking an established therapy.

    This allows researchers to measure a drug's safety and effectiveness and also measure how much of a therapy's benefit, if any, is caused by a "placebo effect," in which people improve simply because they expect that they will.

    Consumers can look up published study results through sites such as and
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Valerie Bertinelli for Nutrisystems. What isn't told in the ad is that in order to get into that bikini that was so touted, she had to work extra special with a trainer and had been working all along with a trainer. And some of the celebs on the weight loss systems have chefs working with the "systems' meals" but supplementing it with their special touches and other food too--so the celeb prepares no food and the chef is preparing all meals and snacks. Most of us don't have outstanding celebrity trainers and chefs paid for by the weight loss system in order to lose and maintain weight. Can you imagine how yummy and healthful the snacks and additional food are that the chef prepares??
  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member


    If only we all had personal chefs, trainers as well as housekeepers, personal assistants, we would all be better, eh?

    I wonder if we could get a group rate?

    I bet none of these stars have had to live on disability.

  4. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Talk about motivation - here I'll pay you 6 figures - think you can lose 30 lbs in 8 months? Uh...yeah. Oh, then I'll pay you 6 more figures for you to talk about it for another year, lose another 20 and we'll put you on TV in a bikini.

    I remember they had some show on TV a while back that said the biggest motivator for people to lose weight was to actually tell them that they would be on TV (or in public) in a bathing suit. I can't remember what it was, but they actually made this group do that in this study. Add money on top of that? Oh a personal trainer...someone preparing your food?

    These stars that get those meals delivered to them don't even have to think. How nice, huh?

    Did I get a little off topic? Can't even remember the subject now. LOL
  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Some of the celebrities have not done TV or movies for so long, and they weren't working before they got the gig with the weight loss company, that they are probably now on the "D" list---like Valerie Bertinelli (I actually like her very much, but we have to look at this honestly here). So they will say and do anything. They promote weight loss, but don't discuss that they didn't lose weight alone--they had multiple people paid by the company to help them. And they don't discuss about the full physical, blood work, thyroid and hormone checks they had to have before they could start the weight loss program.

    To me when they are hired by a weight loss company and advocating weight loss, they are putting the toe over into the medical field.

    Did you notice that Queen Latifa (spelling) was with one of those weight loss companies and quickly disappeared from involvement with them. I have not seen an explanation for that.

    I saw Marie Osmond (I also like her) on TV and I believe she got involved with NutriSystems when she was on Dancing With the Stars and BEFORE she got the contract to do Vegas with her brother, so I don't know if she was actually working steady. She stepped it up and lost 50 pounds total (so she is ahead of Valerie Bertinelli) But she looked too thin and all hair--her hair is very long and for that commercial just seemed to be overwhelming hair for such a thin person.

    Anna Nicole Smith, long before she died, went on that weight loss program and she had interviewed chefs to go on that program. So it is clear that the celebrities get a lot of help and I think that medically, this should be disclosed in all advertisements and commercials. After all celebrities are touting the products for weight loss and I think truth in advertising is to know all they do in order to lose the weight (even if that is tummy tucks, breast lift and augmentation, etc.). It's all medical.