Why Do We Take Celeb Fitness Advice?

Madonna in London

Rumor has it Madonna and Demi Moore are turning to a new diet — called “The Werewolf Diet” — to get their bodies in shape for spring. The “Werewolf Diet” consists of fasting or only eating certain foods depending on what phase the moon is in. This diet is probably going to be the new craze because two A-list celebs are endorsing it. But it got me thinking… what is it that makes me want to take celeb health advice, regardless of whether or not the star is qualified? If the goop (my nickname for Gwyneth Paltrow) uses Tracy Anderson (a fitness entrepreneur) DVDs to lose that muffin top, Tracy’s DVD sales are likely to increase. It’s fantastic when celebrities get behind a good health cause (like Michael J. Fox raising money for Parkinson’s), but it can also be bad.

Rumor has it Lady Gaga has tried the “Baby Food Diet” (she eats pureed foods, like carrots), Sarah Michelle Gellar allegedly lost weight with the “Cabbage Soup Diet” (which involves eating all the cabbage soup you could want — or don’t want) and word has it Brooke Shields did the “Grapefruit Diet” (eating half a grapefruit before each meal).

The British Medical Journal says part of the reason we trust celebs is because of the “halo effect,” where we assume a celeb is more credible than someone off the street (even if they’re not!). Another reason we try celeb diets is because it makes us feel cool — so and so’s awesome and doing a new diet, so we want to do it, too.

Outside of the “Werewolf Diet,” maybe Madonna knows what she’s doing. In February, The Queen of Pop traveled to Toronto, Canada for the official launch of her fitness facility, “Hard Candy.” Madonna herself created a class called “Addicted to Sweat” —  and they’re based on her daily workouts. The hour-long class focuses on cardio, core work and intensive strengthening. She clearly knows how to work our obsession with celeb diets into a business.

Have you ever tried a crazy diet a celeb recommended?