Before May of this year, chances are you never seriously considered what you'd do if you found out you had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer. But then Angelina Jolie discovered she did (thanks to a faulty BRCA1 gene) and wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about her ensuing decision to get a double mastectomy. Suddenly, it was a huge topic of conversation. But are we just interested in stars' health issues the same way we're interested in their relationships—or are they actually influencing our medical choices? According to a new paper published in BMJ, it's probably the latter. Why that's scary: Celebrities have been known to dole out different medical info than doctors, such as when Jenny McCarthy said vaccines cause autism or when TV broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson said that, "If you can pee against a wall from two feet, you haven't got it [prostate cancer]."For the paper, researchers from McMaster University in Canada looked at a range of prior … [Read more...] about We May Be Hardwired to Follow Celebs’ Medical Advice: Research
Sir michael parkinson
They can influence what clothes people wear, what music people listen to and what food people eat. The power of celebrities is well known in the realm of popular culture, but what influence do they have when it comes to public health? While many celebrities can stake a claim to knowing a thing or two about how to "look good" and what the latest fashions are, the same cannot usually be said about health and medicine. And yet, despite this, the opinions and experiences of celebrities frequently influence how people approach their own health. Even in the face of the expert opinions of doctors, physicians and academic researchers whose professional lives are focused on improving and delivering the best health care possible, people can sometimes be influenced more by the actions of a film star. "People are trusting celebrities with their health," write researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Steven J. Hoffman and Charlie Tan conducted a meta-narrative analysis of … [Read more...] about How do celebrities influence public health decisions?