August 8th, 2010
Celebrities are role models whether they like it or not, but it’s still up to us to take whatever they say — or what the media says they say — with a grain of salt. Some celebrities get a lot of attention for giving great beauty and style tips, and others are more honest about their challenges to look great for photo shoots, movies and on the red carpet. Other celebrities, though, probably shouldn’t be quoted on their lifestyle advice, and as a nursing school or medical school student, you have an extra responsibility to set your patients, friends and family members straight. The actors, singers and other celebrities in this list may look great and make a lot of money, but their health tips could actually make you very unhealthy. You wouldn’t jump off a bridge just because Zac Efron said it was fun, would you?
- Gwyneth Paltrow: Movie star Gwyneth Paltrow is known for having killer legs, which she likes to show off on the red carpet. Her post-baby body is the result of intense workouts with her trainer Tracy Anderson, and a strict diet that often includes liquid-only detoxes and a macrobiotic lifestyle. Gwyneth has long encouraged others to try the macrobiotic diet, which mostly consists of vegetables and lean proteins like fish. She hardly ever adds any dairy to her diet, and while she has taken breaks from the regime during pregnancies and for certain movie roles, Gwyneth recently developed a disease called osteopenia, which is a precursor to osteoporosis. On her website GOOP, Gwyneth revealed that doctors found her Vitamin D levels to be the lowest they’d ever seen.
- Demi Moore: Actress Demi Moore had a huge comeback when she wore that little black bikini next to Cameron Diaz in the Charlie’s Angels sequel, and she’s still considered one of the hottest women in Hollywood. But Moore’s great shape may not always be attributed to responsible or healthy dieting. She and husband Ashton Kutcher recently publicized (via Twitter of course) their Master Cleanse project. It’s a popular detox diet for celebrities, as we’ll keep seeing below, and consists of nothing more than a mixed drink of Maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon water. Moore seemed to feel okay on the second day, while Kutcher was missing real food.
- Beyonce: Beyonce no doubt gets her exercise in when she’s dancing on stage, but the singer also admits that she spends lots of time working out in the gym and watching what she eats. She seems to have a balanced idea of fitness and dieting, but when Beyonce needs to lose weight for a movie role or other public event, she’s the first to turn to the drastic Master Cleanse diet, which once helped her lose 20 lbs. in just two weeks. She drank the cayenne pepper/lemon water/maple syrup drink six times per day along with an herbal laxative tea twice a day, and that was it. Just like Moore and Kutcher, Beyonce can face major nutrient deficiencies on such an extreme diet, which also affected her mood. And while that kind of diet can make you lose weight fast, you’ll gain it all back as soon as you start eating anything again.
- Jessica Simpson: While Jessica Simpson has received praise for trying to ignore Hollywood’s skinny standards and embracing her curvier figure, she is the champion of yo-yo dieters. Admitting that she likes to indulge in Mexican food and other fatty foods, Simpson also publicizes her crash diets to get her ready for red carpet events or her 30th birthday. Simpson suddenly adopts radical changes in lifestyle and diet, like going vegan and trying cupping sessions, which gave her bruises. Crash diets can “shock” your system, as Simpson said, and don’t usually result in long-term weight loss anyway.
- Madonna: Madonna has been experimenting with extreme workouts for years, and may have even turned friend Gwyneth Paltrow onto the obsession. The two used to share celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, but even though Madonna has split with the tough workout guru, some think she has gone too far with fitness and may have an addiction to exercise. Madonna is often seen in workout clothes and has little to no fat on her body. A fan of yoga, gyrotonics and cardio, Madonna has also injected herself with vitamins and continued workouts after breaking her collarbone, ribs and hand from a horseback riding fall.
- Tom Cruise: Scientologists like Tom Cruise have non-traditional views on modern medicine and treatments, which led to a very public debate about post-partum depression with Brooke Shields and Matt Lauer. In a 2005 interview with Lauer, Tom Cruise called out Shields’ struggle with post-partum depression and her use of the drug Paxil that she took for treatment. Cruise insisted that such drugs were very dangerous and that vitamins are all that’s needed to help hormonal imbalances, and that there is no such think as an emotional or chemical imbalance in a human being. His statements stirred up anger across the country, especially among doctors and those who do rely on antidepressants as a healthy, monitored way of treating certain conditions.
- Kate Moss: Supermodel Kate Moss no doubt has a naturally thin figure — she was discovered by Calvin Klein as a young teenager, inspiring the “heroin chic” trend in the 1990s — but certain remarks that’s she’s made about weight later in life have created a bit of controversy. In recent years, the fashion industry has been trying to refurbish its reputation for encouraging models to lose weight and creating a culture of eating disorders in the United States. But Kate hurt their campaign when she said in a 2009 interview that “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Her quote may have been taken a little bit out of context, but since Kate is the mother of a seven-year-old daughter — and had already been busted for cocaine a few years earlier — many wondered at her ability to speak rationally about body image and health.
- Jessica Biel: You might be surprised to see Jessica Biel on this list, since she is often photographed and interviewed about her active lifestyle. Biel, who grew up in Colorado, is known to love all forms of exercise and adventure, from horseback riding to biking to hiking to mountain climbing. But Biel may have also hinted at a too-strict diet regime in an interview with Glamour Magazine. When she’s filming long days, Biel avoids sugar crashes at all costs, which means she eliminates dairy, sugar, bread and salt from her diet, and rarely eats meat. She admits that she gives herself one day per week to enjoy foods she likes, but cutting out so many nutrients from your diet can be harmful and lead to fatigue and vitamin deficiencies.
- Kendra Wilkinson: When former Playboy model and current reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson had her baby, she was faced with an unfamiliar challenge: the normally sporty celebrity had to work extra hard to lose weight and watch her diet extremely closely. Wilkinson started off her weight loss journey with a healthy attitude, experimenting with healthy recipes and enjoying the fact that the first several pounds melted off quickly. When it got too overwhelming for her, though, Wilkinson just quit her diet and said she said that “the fork is [her] friend]” and she was ready to gain weight again. While Wilkinson didn’t need to get down to her Playboy weight, giving up is an unhealthy attitude that could result in major weight gain and a lack of exercise later in life.
- Oprah: In America, Oprah is like the guru of everything: spiritual guidance, back-to-school savings, locking up rapists and of course, being more beautiful and more healthy. And while a recent Newsweek article condemning some of Oprah’s healthy tips did applaud her diet and exercise advice, Oprah is often one of the first to jump on the bandwagon of new treatments, creams, and pills that are unregulated and still in the testing stage. These so-called natural products that Oprah features promise to make you look younger, give you more energy, and just generally make you more fabulous, but the talk show host hasn’t been relying on concrete FDA reports or scientists for advice: instead, she’s been using other celebrities as her primary references and “experts” on the subject, and possibly endangering many Americans.
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