Monday, 7 July 2014

The 'Dr. Oz' Controversy

Before I start this post, let me put a disclaimer: I am not shaming Dr. Oz as a person or professional. I am simply retaking the facts and weighing in (haha - weighing in! Did you catch that pun there?) on an issue that must be discussed.

You may be familiar with Dr. Oz. We seemed not to know this doctor until he appeared on the Oprah show one day. Since then, he has become quite famous. From books to a show to online, everyone speaks about Dr. Oz. His show speaks about new 'miracle weight loss' tips and solutions. He promotes certain diets or herbs or pills that apparently are going to revolutionize the way we can control our weight. And there is no end to those who idolize him. The common love for him goes something like this: 'Dr. Oz says something, and the world responds. He can say nothing wrong. If Dr. Oz says something, it must be true. I must go out and buy this miracle pill because Dr. Oz said that it works'.

So can you imagine what happened when the world is told that Dr. Oz was challenged just two weeks ago. It was found that some of his statements and claims were false; they are not based of scientific evidence. He then admitted that 'there is no magical pill that will help you lose weight without diet and exercise'. In the end, it seems that Dr. Oz's claims about weight loss miracles are simply not true or accurate. They are misleading. (See for details. And sadly, his position as a doctor, one also loved by Oprah, makes this even more tragic. People believed in him. People believed that as a 'doctor', whatever he said was correct. People thought that since he appeared on Oprah, he must be right. Media claims about Dr. Oz's wisdom filled society with the idea that whatever Dr. Oz said was right. And now, we are told that this is false. Society is now (finally) hearing the truth: Dr. Oz is not always right. Not very grunt he says must be true.

I've personally never been a fan of Dr. Oz. For one thing, I know that a pill or food alone cannot help control weight. In all my nursing studies, I'll tell you the basic notion: weight control comes from eating a balanced diet and exercising. Secondly, Dr. Oz's 'advice' never comes with scientific articles that have proven to me what he is saying. I refuse to accept his claims without studying the evidence behind them. Third, just because he is a 'doctor' doesn't mean that he is always right. I'm a nursing student, soon to be a nurse. If I said that you can grow wings by eating purple broccoli, would you believe me?

Perhaps the hype around Dr. Oz come from the desire of society to refuse to accept responsibility for our health. We don't want to be told that eating a variety and balance of foods in moderation is the best option. We don't want to hear that exercise is needed. Society wants to hear that there is a miracle for being healthy. We want the easy way out, so to speak. It's a lot easier to buy a pill and hope that it will speed up my metabolism than it is to actually our in the effort of eating well and controlling my stews. But what society needs to know is that there IS NO MIRACLE. THE MIRACLE IA BALANCE: balance in eating all things in moderation, sleeping and exercising, and controlling stress and risk factors. We also need to begin to realize that we can't believe everything we read or hear. We need to learn to search for the evidence and to see that simply being someone in authority and prestige, such as Dr. Oz, doesn't make someone the wisest person alive.

Will everyone stop listening to Dr. Oz now? Sadly, I don't think so. People who love him will refuse to believe that his claims are fake and wrong. Or people will soon forget about this when he comes on TV the next episode to talk about some other miracle solution. What needs to change is society. We need to become smarter receivers of information. We need to stop consuming information without stopping to see if it is credible. We need to start taking charge of our health and seeing that our bodies are not experiments. Our bodies need care. That means a balanced diet, physical activity, and rest. No miracle pill can give your body this. Once we learn to stop taking advice from sources that aren't reliable, we can begin to take steps that will truly promote our health. And once we stop paying attention to false source of information that claim they have found 'miracle solutions and magical life savers to the weight/body size/(whatever problem the world faces), we can ensure that these sources do not continue to fool people. Please, be aware of what you listen to and what advice you take. Do not simply listen to advice because someone is in a position of authority or because everyone else is doing it. Be smart and informed.

And just to lighten things up a bit, here is a comic that both brings this message across...and makes me laugh each time I read it.


  1. I watch this show only for curiosity.


  2. I was hoping to get him fired and his show suspended

    Sheila Ketson

  3. This man is attractive speaks with self confidence and assertive and so people believe what he said even if it is bull s.


  4. People made him famous and brag about him .I do not like him .He is arrogant and self inflated.


  5. I do not understand why people are fond of this quack


  6. Dr. Oz ,I believe, is just an ordinary person, happened to possess a charisma to run a show and gain publicity and make lots of money.


  7. I trust Dr.Oz is not the wisest but the smartest.
    He knows well how to attract people .


  8. In medicine as you said Marina we need to have evidence to advocate any medication or even endorse a medical investigation as blood test.
    I may not have the time or full skill to critically appraise any study done and so I search using UPTODATE to have the recommendation ready for me and the work is done by groups of doctors .
    I agree with you Dr. Oz endorse without quoting any study or telling us how credible if any study done.
    Because he is a celebrity ,people applaud him and trust what he said
    What a strange world!!

    Med student

  9. I watch his show for curiosity only and to know what are people thinking.


  10. This is first time I hear about this OZ!!!
    I think it is better to keep naive


  11. I am surprised he got off that easy.
    I think if any doctor has done what he has done ,would be have been fired off his job and suspension of medical licence and may be further discipline.


  12. I admit I learn some medical information from him and I used to trust him .I am not sure if being grilled and under scrutiny now will change my mind.


  13. Oz is not a doctor. He is an actor .


  14. Why he says things is convincing though.


  15. I know lots of people around me who adore him .
    For me I am getting sick of what I hear.
    I do not watch his show.


  16. I was hoping the congress to stop his show and to break his nose .


  17. He is an enigma


  18. You know I watch for curiosity .


  19. It is very surprising to me that my daughter is a big fan of him.
    I tried to discourage her from his show and other non helpful one but in vain.
    At least his show talking about some health issues.
    I hope she will read this blog and get a piece of rational mind.

    JP( a thankful mother)

  20. I think We really need to stop watching non credible shows like OZ .If He allows himself to give all his audience false information, how can we trust what we watch.


  21. If he knows that the product did not pass scientific muster ,why he was bragging about it and confused audience.
    I can not trust him any more.


  22. The overwhelming wide spread web and uncontrolled and unregulated ,every one can post on the web what they like .
    I was fool to believe every show, TV host and any thing written on the web.
    I am learning now where to look for credible info.
    Of course not from Dr. O show.
    I have to admire you that you have been honest in giving your readers evidence for any tips you have given.

    Sam Ibrahim
    Burnhamthorpe ,Mississauga

  23. I am happy he was grilled.He is glutton for punsihment.


  24. For sure my trust is shaken


  25. We all need to use our discretion about what to watch and what to read.


  26. You are making a great point Marina.
    Whom We trust among frenzy media??


  27. I admit I watch him.
    May be I spend my luxury time in something more useful'


  28. May be my ED was caused by many factors but I guess his show and similar ones contributed to ED or at least flame it.
    I do like what he said to be healthy eat, sleep and exercise( I am doing this now and I am very well)
    I hope you have good summer Marina.


  29. I watch because people every where talk about him


  30. I do not like his show or similar shows as all those shows for commercial not for public best interest.


  31. I am sick of people talking about this show.
    I can not swallow this guy.


  32. I do not like Dr OZ show



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