The Dr Oz Show airs on primetime TV in the USA and is syndicated across America reaching a huge audience who tend to believe everything he says.
Dr Oz is regarded as the voice of authority when it comes to health and weight loss and he has some impressive medical credentials. He is a trained cardiothoracic surgeon and has been a professor at the Columbia State University since 2001. Therefore, it is not surprising that so many people believe what he says because he so obviously knows what he is talking about.
With this weight of responsibility upon his medically trained shoulders, you would think that he would be using his influence for good and would be attempting to get America healthier and thinner.
Maybe he is, but it is not working out that way.
Questioned over Promotion of “Miracle” Weight loss Aids
Dr Oz was facing a meeting of state senators on Tuesday night in a special hearing on Capitol Hill . This was a follow up to the Federal Trade Commission’s crackdown against fake diet products. He was not there for praise though. Instead he received a real scolding from the senators that left him visibly shaken.
He was accused of being the power driving many scam diet products because of his style of looking at weight loss ingredients and talking them up in very flowery language.
Some of his claims about raw ingredients are extravagant. He has described green coffee bean extract as a “miracle fat burning pill” and a “magic weight loss cure for every body type” He has also talked up Raspberry Ketones and Garcinia Cambogia in similar glowing tones much to the dismay of the scientific community.
The meeting was chaired by state senator Claire McCaskill who gave the TV doctor an extremely hard time for his role in promoting diet scams.
When you feature a product on your show it creates what has become known as the ‘Dr. Oz Effect’ — dramatically boosting sales and driving scam artists to pop up overnight using false and deceptive ads to sell questionable products,
This is a very real effect because Dr Oz has a great influence on public opinion.
Within weeks of Dr Oz describing Green coffee bean extract as a miracle pill a Florida based company began marketing a diet supplement called Pure Green Coffee. They claimed that their product could make people lose 17lbs and cut body fat by 16%.
They used footage taken from the Dr Oz show, which showed him making all the claims about the miracle benefits and it was a key part of their advertising.
Dr Oz himself is not linked with this company and received no financial reward for his role in their promotion.
He has claimed that he is a victim of scammers himself by this hijacking of his name to endorse this product. The sellers behind Pure Green Coffee have since been sued by the FTC for making bogus claims and deceiving customers.
However, this is the tip of the iceberg. A quick search online for US diet products containing Green Coffee Bean Extract, Garcinia Cambogia and Raspberry Ketones reveals that many companies are still featuring Dr Oz as an endorsement for the powers of these raw ingredients.
Dr Oz, maintains that he had not done any of this deliberately. Under questioning, he claimed that he had to be passionate in his language to engage his audience and he admitted to using “flowery language on his shows”.
He has said that he has personally believed in the ingredients he has featured on his show despite their lack of medical evidence, adding;
I recognize that often times they don’t have the scientific muster to pass as fact. I have given my family these products.
Lawmakers Caution Dr Oz
With the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) trying to tighten up on scam diet pill products flooding the US market and the estimate that over 3/4 of all Americans are overweight, it seems that the one thing that the USA needs is some sensible health advice about diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, what they have is Dr Oz a trained doctor who should know better, recommending fad diet products, which come with no medical evidence that they work.
He has defended his actions, saying that the products give people hope! A flimsy excuse in most opinion!
Senator Claire McCaskill asked him why he didn’t use his show to promote healthy weight loss methods such as an improved diet and exercise, saying;
I want to see all that floweriness, all that passion, about the beauty of a walk at sunset,
She added that;
The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called miracles.
She also lambasted the media companies who run ads for weight loss products that air in the commercial breaks that punctuate his shows.
I just don’t understand why you need to go there
You are being made an example of today because of the power you have in this space.
In fairness to Dr Oz, he did at least turn up for the meeting unlike any of the media companies concerned. He has also promised to tone down his presenting style and to be more objective in his view of so called miracle products.
If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email, or other circumstance, “it’s illegal”
Maintaining that he has never endorsed any products.
Senator Claire McCaskill is no stranger to weight loss herself. Back in 2011, she tweeted that she was “tired of looking and feeling fat” and taking matters into her own hands, she lost 50lbs of weight within 5 months by changing her diet and taking up exercise.
Perhaps Senator McCaskill would be a more effective voice for health and weight loss on prime time TV than Dr Oz.