People don’t go to doctors to be entertained. Why turn to celebrities for health advice?

Americans believe in experts. We look to CPAs to complete our tax returns, lawyers to handle our disputes, plumbers to fix our pipes. So it baffles me that an astounding number of us turn to movie stars and other celebrities for health advice.

Take a recent article in Parents magazine: “Where 13 Celebrity Parents Stand on Vaccinating Their Kids.” In it, 13 successful actresses, including Alicia Silverstone, Julie Bowen, and Amanda Peet offered their opinions and advice on issues such as the safety, effectiveness, and timing of vaccines. They also shared their thoughts on vaccinating — or not vaccinating — their children.

Why do their opinions matter? They are celebrity actresses, with their own incredible talents, smarts, and savvy. But they aren’t doctors, nurses, or scientists with expertise in immunology or public health.

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