Dr. Oz gets what he deserves…

Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims – Consumerist. Dr. Mehmet Oz is one of the first up against the wall when the revolution comes, as far as I’m concerned (I’ll line him up with Dr. Phil, Jenny McCarthy and Oprah). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Dr. Oz is not in the business of helping people. He’s in the business of selling advertising space for the TV stations that air his shows. He does this chiefly by stirring up controversy and by telling people things that they want to hear.

“My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience and when they don’t think they have hope, when they don’t think they can make it happen, I wanna look — and I do look — everywhere… for any evidence that might be supportive to them…”

That’s what he said in defense of peddling snake oil on his show when challenged about it by Senantor Clair McCaskill. Another way to read this is,

“Yeah, I know, none of this stuff actually does anything, but if people want to believe in it, I’ll give them my blessing.”

What’s really sad about this to me is that it encourages people to think they can lose weight without changing their habits, or that more serious intervention than buying a bottle of Raspberry Ketones or Green Coffee Extract isn’t necessary. There are some people who have serious hormone imbalances, or digestive disturbances that causing their weight gain and inability to control how their metabolisms respond to food. These people need to seek real medical help and may have to have very serious and significant interventions. Everyone else… well, y’all just need to step away from the Krispy Kremes. I’m being a little bit facetious here, but also quite serious. Being overweight, especially if you are significantly overweight or clinically obese, puts you at risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and a number of other problems that might dramatically shorten your life, or at the very least make it very unpleasant. This is serious stuff, and it requires serious behavioral change to deal with it. Matters are not helped, not in the slightest, by clowns like Dr. Oz who encourage folks to believe they can take a shortcut by buying the right pill. I’m sorry, sir, but you are part of the problem. So, how do you know if someone is making an absurd claim related to their weight loss product or program? The Federal Trade Commission has actually provided a handy tool – 7 Gut Check claims to watch out for:

  1. causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise
  2. causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats
  3. causes permanent weight loss even after the consumer stops using product
  4. blocks the absorption of fat or calories to enable consumers to lose substantial weight
  5. safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks
  6. causes substantial weight loss for all users
  7. causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin

And what’s not on this list? Regular exercise, portion control, clean eating and plenty of sleep. Why? Because that’s what actually, really, no joke, works. Does that mean all supplements are bad and/or a waste of money? Nope. But they’re supplements. Good supplements support good habits. They don’t replace them. Look, it’s not rocket surgery. There is no magic formula. If you’re fat and out of shape that’s the result of poor habits (unless you happen to have a hormonal or other bonafide medical condition that’s put you in the spot you’re in). The cure for problems caused by poor habits is to cultivate better habits. There are people out there, like me, who can actually help you. Just have the courage to ask.

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