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By Andrea Peyser
March 13, 2017
I’ve identified a major cause of societal overspending, oversharing and undereating, followed by yo-yo bingeing and purging, a potentially destructive scourge that could cost the masses their bank accounts, waistlines, health and minds: Gwyneth Paltrow.
Now more than ever, the Hollywood golden girl and lifestyle guru, 44, as well as her very wrong, ill-informed and undereducated ilk, matter.
The diva of the ghastly lifestyle and e-commerce Web site Goop, purveyor of the $15,000 gold-plated Inez personal vibrator that, in all likelihood, gets the job done no more efficiently than cheaper models do, recently boasted in Women’s Health magazine, which published her bunk without criticism or dissent, that she ridded her body of parasites (what?) by subsisting for eight straight days and nights on a diet of raw goat’s milk. Yuck.
But is Paltrow merely begging folks to join her in the embarrassing gassiness that one gastroenterologist told the Web site Stat is bound to result from the lactose-heavy starvation ritual? Or, is she harboring a more sinister plan for world domination?
“Celebrity culture can be dangerous, make no mistake,’’ Professor Timothy Caulfield, 53, who teaches health law and science policy at the University of Alberta in Canada, told me.
The mom of two, he contends, is responsible for “keeping health myths alive and creating confusion.’’ She “provides health advice that is completely disconnected with reality.’’
The influence she exerts over the population cannot be underestimated, nor should it be ignored. Research shows that celebs’ health advice has an outsize effect on ordinary people and, in Paltrow’s case, inverse proportion to her intellect.
The “Angelina Jolie Effect,’’ for example, is a hotly debated topic in medical circles, after the filmmaker and mother of six revealed she had her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventive measure against developing cancer. The jury is out about whether she helpfully raised disease awareness or unnecessarily alarmed the public.
As for Paltrow, every time she appears on a mag cover with her glowing skin and toned abs spouting rubbish about what to eat and what foods to avoid like Ebola, people suck up her alternative remedies. But these have something in common with “alternative facts’’ — they don’t hold up to scrutiny. At worst, people run the risk of developing eating disorders. At best, the pounds one loses return.
Her obsession with below-the belt treatments (jade eggs for strengthening pelvic muscles; mugwort vaginal steams!) could simply be wastes of money. Or a copycat could experience burns in sensitive regions amid the false expectation that anything but nature controls the cleanliness of lady parts. “We have our liver and our kidneys to do our work for us,’’ Caulfield said.
This obsession is also contagious.
Last week, “Beauty and the Beast’’ actress, model and feminist crusader Emma Watson, 26, gushed to the Web site Gloss about the joy of slathering on “amazing’’ $40 Fur Oil to tame her unruly eyebrows — and pubic hair.
Caulfield wrote the 2015 tome “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness.’’ He even went on the 21-day Clean Program she champions, and met in Hollywood with the detox scheme’s creator, Dr. Alejandro Junger. The regimen was brutal.
“No coffee!’’ he cried. “It almost killed me, I was psychopathic — and coffee is probably good for you.
“No white sugar and no gluten, which is only bad for the 1 percent of the population with celiac disease. [And according to new research, avoiding gluten may increase one’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes.]
“I wasn’t allowed to eat certain fruits. So lemons were OK, oranges not. Crazy.’’ He drank shakes for breakfast and dinner and lost nine pounds, which he gained right back.
Despite Paltrow’s pathological aversion to toxins, Caulfield was shocked to read that she cops to smoking a single American Spirit cigarette each Saturday night, which she described in the Telegraph, along with her usual nightly glass of red wine, as “just the right amount of naughty.’’
“There is no safe level of smoking,” said Caulfield. “The right amount is zero.’’
There is no substitute for consuming a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and obeying one’s doctor. Listening to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow will only leave you befuddled, famished, as plump as ever and poorer.
She can even be hazardous to your health.