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Celebrity involvement in public health campaigns – does it ever deliver long term benefits?
In the past, celebrities have been hired by governments to front public health campaigns. They have been hired on the premise that they may be able to connect with the masses.
Then you have celebrity chefs, like Jamie Oliver who tried to revolutionise school dinners in the UK and US, with mixed success and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who has promoted sourcing local produce or even going vegetarian. But how much really changes?
I’m slightly cynical when celebrities get involved. I believe they are there just for the pay cheque and their involvement has no real lasting benefit, because a lot of these celebs have mostly ephemeral careers – how can we expect their message to stick? http://bit.ly/xWtxRF
However, I am more sympathetic with Jamie Oliver who has campaigned a lot for school dinners to be more healthy and gone some way in educating people. Food is just one area, but what about other health-related endorsements by celebrities – how much really changes in the end?