Celebrities taken to task in annual round-up of scientific nonsense
Every Christmas, the charity Sense About Science (SAS) records the silly scientific things celebrities say and do in the hope that these high-profile figures might think twice, or seek advice, before making pseudoscientific claims to their legions of fans.
The 2012 list contains the usual rogues' gallery of misdeeds, such as Simon Cowell employing someone to "heal" his home and sports stars deploying dubious treatments for injuries.
But there is also, it seems, hope. "The implausible and frankly dangerous claims about how to avoid cancer, improve skin or lose weight are becoming ever more ridiculous – and unfortunately they have a much higher profile than the research and evidence," said Tracey Brown, SAS managing director. "On the other hand, this year we have had more examples than ever sent to us of people in the public eye who clearly do check their facts, and we're pleased to have been able to help some of them this year."
On the roll call of the enlightened this year is the England cricketer Stuart Broad. Asked whether he took any dietary supplements by the Daily Mail, he replied: "I think you can get enough out of your diet without them. But when we travel to places like India and Bangladesh, we do take them."
Sian Porter, consultant dietitian and a British Dietetic Association spokesperson, welcomed the sensible words: "Good on Stuart for realising that you can 'do it with food' – a healthy balanced diet can provide all the nutrients you need. When touring Stuart may be unsure of the nutrition quality and variety of his food so may take a supplement during this time as an insurance policy."