The New Year is all about making resolutions toward self improvement, and as such seems to be the ripest time to try out new diets and regimes.

Unfortunately, picking exactly which one can be tricky, and so we turn to our celebrity idols for their tips and tricks to staying fit. But sometimes these famous folks can be completely misguided, as emphasized by the annual list of this year’s worst abuses against science, published by the Sense About Science (SAS) campaign. This group has taken a close look at some of the latest trends floating around, and debunked many of the diet and exercise suggestions celebs have to offer so that the general public can have some common sense going into the New Year. Thanks science!

Some of the top science faux pas’ include a trend where soccer all-star David Beckham, Robert de Niro, and Princess-to-be Kate Middleton have worn hologram-embedded silicone bracelets, which allegedly improve your energy and fitness. And celebs like Demi MooreAshton Kutcher, and Naomi Campbell, have practiced a diet that asks you to eat only maple syrup, lemon, and pepper for two weeks. Fortunately, these have been proven failures by the SAS as they stated, “Many of these claims promote theories, therapies and campaigns that make no scientific sense.”

In addition, pop star Sarah Harding has been flaunting the fact that she crumbles charcoal over her food because she claims it “absorbs all the bad damaging stuff in the body.” But Dr. John Elmsley, a chemical scientist, came to our rescue on this one when he told SAS that while charcoal does absorb toxic molecules when used in sewage treatment, the application is “unnecessary when it comes to diet because the body is already quite capable of removing any ‘bad damaging stuff’.” Phew!

But perhaps the most bizarre dieting tip you may glean comes from cage fighter Alex Reid, who told The Sun newspaper that he “reabsorbs” his sperm before every big fight… “It’s actually very good for a man to have unprotected sex as long as he doesn’t ejaculate. Because I believe that all that semen has a lot of nutrition. A tablespoon of semen has your equivalent of steak, eggs, lemons and oranges. I am reabsorbing it into my body and it makes me go raaaaahh,” he claimed.

Oy vey.

Anyways, lucky for the gents out there this theory was debunked by reproductive research scientist John Aplin, who said that sperm cannot be reabsorbed once it has been formed. “In fact sperm die after a few days, and the nutritional content of the ejaculate is really rather small,” he said.

So now that you know that maple syrup is not a substitute for food, charcoal should not be sprinkled like so much pepper, and reabsorbing your own sperm is not only odd but has no actual benefit. What exactly should you do then to stay healthy? To help, the SAS published its own “easy-to-remember pointers for celebrity commentators”:

* Nothing is chemical-free: everything is made of chemicals, it’s just a case of which ones

* Detox is a marketing myth: our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets

* There’s no need to boost: bodily functions occur without boosting

* Energy and fitness come from…food and exercise: there are no shortcuts.

And there you have it folks! Cheers to a happy, healthy, and coal-free New Year!

  • herwin

    i love especially the “detox is a marketing myth” thing, its sooo true.

    for the rest, i love people who try new things, even (or maybe especially) when these are qwerky things. My love stops however when its being commercialised, like the detox or even the raw food diets at a certain level.
    anyway, Happy New Year Erin !

  • herwin

    if somebody wants to wear a silicon bracelet to improve energy and fitnes, even i dont believe it myself, i dont mind.

    absorbing your sperm must be pretty “bizarre” and a nice sniggler topic for a party, but actually it comes from the ancient Kama Sutra which deals with sex in many aspects in a freeminded and non moralistic way.

    The remark that “charcoal does absorb toxic molecules when used in sewage treatment” is rather negative, but i guess that comes with the job of ridiculing other treatments. Truth is that carcoal digested is a good first remedy when you swallowed a poison (or an overdosis of pills) because it absorbs the poison very fast.

    The general public would be more served with a warning against the pill pushers from the big faramceutical companies.

    Science, sometimes a little overrated, especially by the scientists themselves. haha.

  • herwin

    anybdy here with a weird diet and likes to share it ? :-)