05/12/2005 08:36 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Poor Katie Couric

First, the ratings for "Today" start to slide. Then Alessandra Stanley portrays her as the raptor in the house; when Katie walks down hallways, terrified flunkies cower under desks.

Now a new study suggests that even her charity work fighting colon cancer may be doing more harm than good.

According to a paper published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, celebrities like Couric who make such appeals are widely heard. But as the Times puts it, "while the benefit of [cancer] screening is clear, in many cases the tests are not needed. They can cause unnecessary anxiety and even carry risks..."

These results shouldn't be surprising; if we listened to celebrities and their causes, we'd live at the doctor's office. And while Couric obviously has good intentions, I wouldn't mind if such celebrity warnings simply vanished. We have become a nation so obsessed with health, it's a little sick. We're so worried about dying, we're forgetting how to live. Wouldn't it be healthier if Katie Couric encouraged people to turn off their TVs and go outside?