Celebrity health fads – named and shamed

GPs name and shame ten celebrity health fads, warning women that they are wasting their money by emulating the health-styles of the rich and the famous...

GPs have named and shamed the 10 alternative health trends used by celebrities that they believe are a waste of money and have no medical value.

They raised concerns about women using some forms of alternative therapies include the practice of cupping – a form of acupuncture using heated cups – colonic irrigation and extreme detoxes.

The Aviva Health Hoaxes report reveals more than three quarters (79%) of women use alternative health treatments favoured by celebrities – Gwyneth Paltrow, Alesha Dixon and Cheryl Cole have the health-styles they most admire.

Cupping therapy, which is used by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, tops the list of health hoaxes. She has been quoted in the past as saying: ‘Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for a round of antibiotics or surgery when necessary but I have been helped tremendously by the practices [of acupuncture and cupping] that help the body heal itself.’

The list also includes vitamin B12 injections – said to be used by Madonna – extreme yoga, rumoured to be favoured by Sadie Frost, and reflexology and macrobiotic diets. The others in the top ten are: detoxing, aromatherapy, reflexology, and overnight health farm stays.

Aviva also discovered that to try each treatment on the GPs’ list could cost women more than £800 on average – with upgrades to practitioners used by the celebs themselves seeing the costs running to thousands.

Dr Douglas Wright, principal clinical consultant at Aviva UK Health, said: ‘At Aviva we understand that people like to deal with their own wellbeing in a number of ways, but too many women are wasting money following ‘health’ fads that have little effect – just because it’s expensive, or rumoured to be a celebrity favourite, is not an automatic guarantee a treatment will work.

‘What’s more worrying is that some women are opting for treatment trends rather than seeking medical advice – they might not be fashionable but tried and tested health routes are far safer and more beneficial.’


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