After more than a decade of using colorful language such as “miracle pill,” silver bullet,” and personally endorsing diet supplements and plans, Dr. Oz was taken to task by Senator Claire McCaskill during a Commerce subcommittee meeting telling him frankly, “You have an amazing megaphone. Why would you cheapen your show when you say things like that?”
Speaking in front of the Senate as part of a hearing on false claims made in advertisements for weight loss supplements, the popular television host defended his position saying that although his “passion” may have led him to use language he now regrets. He also feels his “enthusiastic” descriptions have been used, “out of context.”
The doctor admitted that the products he touts don’t pass “scientific muster.” You think?
Doctor Jazz Hands
Dr. Oz is a TV personality with a penchant for the absurd, often sharing the stage with life size body parts and organs to illustrate his point. First and foremost, however, he is a licensed physician, which is why he was asked to join supplement manufacturers, advertisers, nutrition advocates, and other entities who make up the $2.4 billion diet supplement industry. McCaskill spoke about his responsibility as a doctor saying, “It is hard to tell sometimes with Dr. Oz where the doctor begins and ends, and where the entertainer begins and ends.”
Our Experts Are Not Impressed
Over the years, our registered dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, has challenged the great and powerful Oz on his outrageous claims, and there have been many. When he endorsed raspberry keytones as a “revolutionary” metabolism booster, Mary dismissed them as “TV hype,” particularly because they had yet to be tested on humans. That seems important.
When Dr. Oz had us all sit criss-cross-applesauce and told us about a “magical tree” in Kenya that could be used to create Moringa Extract, a diet supplement, Hartley was skeptical, adding, “there is no scientific evidence of Moringa being a weight loss supplement.”
Oz defended his position further, saying, “My job on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience. I have never sold supplements.”
McCaskill, who was clearly not moved by his sincerity, replied, “I’m concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”
image via AP