You get blasted by the United States Senate.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a well known celebrity doctor, who is a household name, frequently promotes weight loss products on his syndicated television show. He recently got a thrashing from some very harsh senators at a hearing about unfounded diet aid ads.
Dr. Oz was viewed as one of the primary reasons for the fraudulent campaigns, however, he insisted he himself was also the victim of these scammers in the media and through the Internet.
The hearing is a follow-up to the Federal Trade Commission’s growing concerns last January against false, possibly dangerous diet products that are currently being sold off as “miracle weight loss” products.
Concerns Over Oz’s Claims
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who chairs a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, was particularly concerned with claims from Dr. Oz on his television show.
She called him to task on many of his claims that certain vitamins, drinks, and other non-clinically studied products are the way to go with the weight loss challenge so many Americans are facing today. Make no mistake, she did not mince words.
“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,” she said. She went on to say, “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true. So why, when you have this amazing megaphone…why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?” (1)
It’s not only US Senators who have some issues with the way Dr. Oz uses flowery language to convince people that they may not have to work as hard to lose weight.
There are growing concerns from other fields in the health industry that have voiced their opinions about the “Dr. Oz effect”. Holostic Clayton pharmacist Jennifer Rich reports that when Dr. Oz takes to the air to promote these products tht they “take hold in her customers”.
“[I receive] an influx of calls any time Dr. Oz promotes a new product on his show.”
While Rich says there are advantages to taking supplements, she adds that Dr. Oz is exaggerating when he magnifies some of these products as “miracles in a bottle”. (2)
What Dr. Oz Has to Say
Oz, a once practicing cardiothoracic surgeon, did acknowledge that his use of certain words about green coffee and other supplements could be described as “flowery”.
He did also state that in an attempt to rectify some of the confusion and to discredit some of the scammers that have used his name as a part of their attempt to endorse their products, he will publish a list of certain products he stands by and is convinced can help Americans lose weight and get healthy, beyond eating less and moving more. (3)
Dr. Oz did defend some of the statements on his show, saying he does not doubt the benefits, however, he did conclude that he may have misled some of the American public.
“I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about in the show. I passionately study them. I recognize that often times they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact. But, nevertheless, I give my audience the advice I give my family all the time. I give my family these products, specifically the ones you mentioned. I’m comfortable with that part,” he said.