Sigh. Not again.
I just saw a Slate article that talked about Dr. Oz shilling “miracle diet supplements”. The piece talked about how far the heart surgeon and medical icon has come from his original roots. I had to write about it.
There’s one specific supplement, Garcinia cambogia, which Dr. Oz claimed would help people finally deal effectively with fat loss. Yet a recent peer review of 12 previous studies featuring over 700 participants in total determined that the supplement was no better than a placebo.
Dr. Oz Has More Authority
What really irks me about Dr. Oz is that he has accolades up the wazoo. He has been widely published in journals, has done amazing things in the medical community, and frequently dons a white coat and talks about his lab. He doesn’t just give an air of authority, he truly is an authority, so Dr. Oz shilling a worthless supplement is going to pack a lot more punch than, say, Geraldo Rivera.
This is exactly what happened last winter. Oz was talking about the benefits of neti pots and sales increased by 12,000% prompting the term “The Oz Effect.” Of course, his TV benefactor is Oprah, and the “Oprah Effect” has long been known, but she pushes plush slippers and properly fitting bras. If you jump at one of her recommendations, you’ll be more comfy and you won’t be putting your life at risk.
By pushing supplements without the proper research behind it, Dr. Oz is effectively implementing a nationwide experiment on everyone who tries them. Does anyone remember Phen/Fen? That didn’t work out so well. At best people who listen to Oz’s advice could have expensive pee, at worst, it could literally harm them.
And as a doctor who agreed to follow the Hippocratic Oath of “first, do no harm,” Dr. Oz has no bloody right doing that. He DOES have a higher bar and he DOES need to respect and meet it.
Dr. Oz Pushes a Lot of Supplements
This isn’t the only example of Dr. Oz pushing supplements.
- Green coffee beans as a fat buster following the release of a flawed study with just 16 participants.
- Zinc as a diet supplement, which seems to come from a study conducted on mice.
- Raspberry ketones as a fat burner.
You get the idea. Whatever happened to healthy food choices and exercise?
So is Dr. Oz getting paid for this? He claims no, but this seems unlikely to me. Why would you risk your reputation to push something after just one small or questionable study unless there was some money behind it somewhere?
The Blogging Creed
As a blogger, it is drilled into our heads to always be forthcoming with affiliate links or other areas where we’re getting paid. Actually it’s the law, and bloggers can find themselves in pretty big trouble if caught doing something improperly.
If Dr. Oz is trying to skirt this basic disclosure law then he should be called out on it, and frankly he should get in trouble with the FTC like everyone else. It is not okay to do this.
Now … we don’t know if Dr. Oz is doing anything illegal at this point, although I would like to see an investigation to make sure that he’s not. But he wouldn’t be the first person.
Dr. Drew was recently caught by the government accepting money from GlaxoSmithKline for pushing Wellbutrin on his TV shows. Dr. Drew received over $275,000 from GSK and never once mentioned it when he was speaking about the drug. Yep, that’s a big no-no.
So what do YOU think? Do you trust Dr. Oz as much as you used to? Do you think someone should be checking on his bank account? Does he truly believe in what he’s suggesting people take or does his accountant? Do you think the bar for him is higher than most on-air personalities?
And thanks to Slate for bringing this out in the open. You were quite right, it WAS about time.
I’d love to start a big discussion here …