Scientists slam celebrities for unscientific promotion of fads

January 3rd, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nicole Kidman

London, Jan 3 (ANI): When it comes to endorsing fad diets and giving advice on medical matters, celebrities should first check their facts, say scientists.

The charity Sense About Science has indicted public figures of puzzling people with misleading promotions for products and theories based on poor understanding of the science involved.

According to the Telegraph, Sense About Science has reported a list of all the verbal scientific blunders of 2007, which includes the names of television presenter Sarah Beeny, fashion designer Stella McCartney, writer Gillian McKeith, and actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman.

For instance, McKeith once wrote in one newspaper that people with joint pain should cut out the amount of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, white potatoes and paprika from their diet.

But Margaret Rayman, the professor of nutritional medicine at the University of Surrey, was not in agreement with the advice.

“Joint pain may be caused by quite different conditions which result from different processes. Some rheumatoid patients may improve by omitting certain foods from their diets, but this must be determined on an individual basis and a blanket prohibition as Gillian advises is unjustified, the paper quoted Rayman, as saying.

Nintendo’s Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training computer game was backed by many including - Nicole Kidman, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Phillip Schofield, Fern Britton, and Zoe Ball.

The promoters of the game claimed that players could carry out various cognitive exercises to stimulate blood flow to the brain.

However, Dr Jason Braithwaite, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Birmingham, had something else to say.

“There is no conclusive evidence that the continued use of these devices is linked to any measurable improvement in cognition,” he said. (ANI)

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