Celebrities in nutrition often promote “fad” diets, which are restrictive diets that eliminate whole food groups. They lack a solid scientific basis. They often show a lack of understanding of nutrition science and biochemistry.
The Paleo Way, by Pete Evans, forbids grains and legumes. It also prohibits dairy, coffee, and other foods. Evans’ website states that “Paleo focuses on balance” but is far from balanced.
Belle Gibson promoted “clean eating” before her cancer diagnosis was called into question. She discouraged the consumption of dairy, gluten, and genetically engineered foods. She announced “detoxing,” which included “alkalising” your system by drinking lemon water and recalibrating the “digestive and immune system” by cutting out fruits like bananas and apples.
Sarah Wilson “quits sugar” and recommends removing fruit from the diet for the first two weeks of her I Quit Sugar eight-week program. This “allows your body to recalibrate and break your sugar addiction.”
The British Dietetic Association has listed paleo and sugarfree diets as two of the five worst celebrity diets.
We know what works when it comes to eating healthy. The Australian Dietary Guidelines are not as exciting as these fad diets, but they summarise all the scientific evidence about what makes a healthy diet.
Why are nutrition celebrities so popular? What impact could it have?
They have made some positive contributions to the world. Undoubtedly, they have changed the nutritional habits of many of their fans for the better. Some of these changes include a greater intake of fruit and vegetables, avoiding foods with added sugar and salt, such as breakfast cereals, and helping obese or overweight followers lose weight.
The Australian population is a particularly vulnerable group, given the high rate of obesity and excess weight and low consumption of good food like vegetables.
Celebrity nutrition can have a negative impact on the public. It may confuse what to eat or drink.
A vulnerable, trusting, and loving member of the public may decide that Belle Gibson’s claims are true – after all, who needs modern medicine to treat cancer? Gibson claimed that she was cured of her cancer by alternative methods. Jessica Ainscough of Wellness Warrior died prematurely last month after choosing an alternative cancer treatment that included endless coffee enemas and juices.
Belle Gibson’s The Whole Pantry book has been removed from circulation, and the US book launch next month has also been canceled. The “Health, Wellness and Lifestyle” app was also removed from Australian app stores and the US app stores.
This week, Pete Evans’ Bubba Yum Yum, a homemade baby milk made from blended liver and bones, was criticized for posing a health risk to babies. This broth contains toxic amounts of micronutrients, such as vitamin A. This can lead to permanent damage or even death.
Evans has plans to release the book as an electronic version.
If you follow celebrity nutrition advice, it may cause you to become overly strict about your eating and drinking habits (think awkward dinner parties) or develop an eating disorder.
Reduced calcium intake can affect bone health. A gluten-free lifestyle can be linked to lower fiber and vitamin intake.
SugarfreeSugarfree diets that suggest reducing fruit consumption are unhealthy. SugarfreeSugarfree food isn’t really sugarfree sugarfree. Rice malt syrup is used in many recipes. It’s chemically classified as sugar, and it increases blood sugar much more than an apple.
Marketing is a great way to reach out to your customers.
Why do so many nutrition celebrities have such a large following when the products they sell are not usually reliable, evidence-based, or healthy for most people?
Many of us are tired and stressed, and we’re looking for quick solutions. Celebrity is associated with wealth and happiness. We are sold a lifestyle and the notion that food is a magic elixir to cure all ailments.
Instagram feeds with stylized food photography, Twitter hashtags such as #paleo#cleaneating#rawfood# sugarfree #glutenfree#detox#juice, and Facebook stories about struggling lives that were transformed in an instant are all attracting us.
You can see that this is more appealing than listening to government guidelines and advice from doctors and nutritionists. Scientific evidence does not support the elimination of whole food groups or elements, such as legumes, grains, fruit, and dairy.