Celebrity Diets: The Truth Behind the Secrets

Celebrities can give good acting tips, but leave diet advice to doctors

By Denise Mann
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

Suzanne Somers. Marilu Henner. Dr. Phil. Sylvester Stallone. You name the celebrity and odds are they've got a diet program complete with a book, a DVD, infomercial, and maybe even a line of supplements. And those that don't have their own diet, yet, may be outspoken advocates of the latest and greatest in fad diets from South Beach and Atkins to the new Hamptons diet.

But just because they can act, sing, and look glamorous and buff as they stroll down a red carpet, doesn't necessarily mean they have a PhD in nutrition.

"Just because someone is a celebrity doesn't mean they know what they are talking about in terms of diet and health," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, senior clinical nutritionist and exercise physiologist at the New York University Medical Center in New York City. Acting advice can certainly come from celebrities, but nutrition advice should come from a health care professional such as a registered dietician.

When browsing the book store or otherwise choosing a diet, look for the author's credentials like an MD (medical doctor) or RD (registered dietician), or if it's someone with a PhD, find out what it's in, it could be in history -- not anything pertaining to health or nutrition, Heller says.

Read the author biography to see if this person has clinical experience. "Where did he or she work? Did he or she ever have real world experience with real patients?" Heller suggests.