Dr. Mehmet Oz has a lot of fans. And if a recent study is to be believed, those fans are getting bad health advice about half the time. So, too, are viewers of The Doctors.
Researchers, most of whom are medical practitioners and educators from the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia, published their findings in the British Medical Journal, in a paper titled “Televised medical talk shows – what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study
What they found was that, on average, about half of the health recommendations either had no evidence to support the recommendations or, worse, were contradicted by established scientific evidence.
Advice from Dr. Oz was found to be incorrect or unsupported more than half the time, while for The Doctors, advice was a little better. They were right more than 60 percent of the time. Also alleged in the study was that conflicts of interest were rarely shared.
So as a fan of those shows, what should you do? First, be skeptical of anything you hear on the shows. Before you follow any recommendation, do your own research or talk to your doctor to verify the veracity of any claim.
This isn’t the first time Dr. Oz’s TV medical advice has been called into question. In early June 2014, Oz was called before Congress to talk about his involvement with endorsing certain weight loss supplements.
Specifically, Senator Claire McCaskill questioned Oz about his support for those weight-loss aids, primarily
green coffee bean extract supplements. She spotlighted a show from 2012 in which Oz called green coffee bean extract a “magic weight loss cure for every body type.”
“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” McCaskill said.
Dr. Oz promised to publish a list of specific products he believes will help Americans lose weight.