Celebrity feud puts spotlight on the dangers of dietary supplements

A celebrity feud on social media has been raising awareness about the health dangers of dietary supplements, bringing far more attention to the problem than has decades of data, according to S. Bryn Austin, an expert in eating disorders at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“The Good Place” star Jameela Jamil has been speaking out on social media against the use of detox teas and other diet products that can be harmful to health, wrote Austin, professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and director of STRIPED (Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders), in an April 7, 2019 NBC News opinion piece. Jamil has criticized reality TV stars the Kardashians, who have for years promoted the use of what Austin called “so-called detox teas.”

“‘So-called’ because, most importantly, teas do not detox: Our bodies come complete with livers, kidneys and other bodily processes designed to do that,” Austin wrote. “These products are no more than a lucrative Trojan horse masquerading as a ‘wellness hack,’ cleverly engineered to get millions of people to abuse laxatives in hopes of looking thin.” Austin called detox teas “dangerous and sometimes life-ending toxic brews.”

Read the NBC News article: Kim Kardashian-Jameela Jamil feud has done more to expose detox tea lies than the FDA

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A call for the CDC to track eating disorders (Harvard Chan School feature)