‘Dr. Oz Effect’ Crushing Consumers Health and Hope

It seems like most of the population is looking for the magic fix when it comes to weight loss. With all of the weight loss products on the market, and contradicting opinions when it comes to optimal nutrition, it is extremely difficult to decide what is good for your body and what isn’t.

The one thing that doctors can agree on is there is not one sure method to achieve optimal health. Workouts and diets operate differently for everybody, and you may need more of a certain food group to keep your body working at its best.

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Someone many look to for guidance for weight loss tips and nutrition is Dr. Mehmet Oz. He often raves about products to help you on your weight loss journey. The only way for you to know for sure if they work, is to try them out, but are these test products only further costing you your health? Dr. Oz appeared before a Senate Subcommittee this week to clear his name regarding false advertising of over-the-counter products.

Claire McCaskill, Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on consumer protection argued about the “Dr.Oz Effect” and the danger of the doctor giving his audience false hope regarding weight loss. The “Dr. Oz Effect” refers to how fast products endorsed by Dr. Oz fly off the shelf, after he briefly mentions them on the show.

Much like every other doctor has said in the past, Dr. Oz confirmed that he did not believe that any product should be swapped for a healthy lifestyle, composed of proper diet and exercise, however, he does believe in using some products as a short-term clutch in aiding you on your weight loss journey.

McCaskill argued, “While I understand that your message is occasionally focused on basics like healthy eating and exercise, I am concerned that you are melding medical advice, news, and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”

Oz himself has admitted to using “flowery” language onscreen. He claims a certain level of passion about the products he endorses is needed to keep the audience engaged.

“If I can just get across the big message that I do personally believe in the items I talk about in my 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.”

He has sued people in the past for using his name without permission on products and weight loss claims. Oz says that no matter what he does, companies will use his name to trick consumers into believing he actually endorsed it in order to sell more. At the end of each show, he asks viewers to bring it to his attention, if they become aware of a product being endorsed by him that isn’t legit.

Oz took to Facebook on Wednesday to comment about the hearing,

“..For years I felt that because I did not sell any products that I could be enthusiastic in my coverage and I believe the research surrounding the products I cover has value. I took part in the hearing because I am accountable for my role in the proliferation of these scams and I recognize that my enthusiastic language has made the problem worse at times. To not have the conversation about supplements at all, however, would be a disservice to the viewer. In addition to exercising an abundance of caution in discussing promising research and products in the future, I look forward to working with all those present yesterday in finding a way to deal with the problems of weight loss scams.”

Regardless of what you hear on any television show, you should always take precautions before altering your diet or workout plan. Talk to your doctor to discuss which plans may be best to achieve your goals in the safest manner, and always conduct your own research! Ultimately, you know what is best for you. Be extra weary of any products that advertise a “magic fix” to help you lose weight without having to do any work, or eat any healthier!


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