Real-world doctors fact-check Dr. Oz, and the results aren't pretty
If that sounds alarming, consider this: Nearly 4 in 10 of the assertions made on the hit show appear to be made on the basis of no evidence at all.
The researchers who took it upon themselves to fact-check Dr. Oz and his on-air guests were able to find legitimate studies related to another 11% of the recommendations made on the show. However, in these cases, the recommendations ran counter to the medical literature.
“Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows,” the researchers wrote in a study published this week in BMJ. “Viewers need to realize that the recommendations may not be supported by higher evidence or presented with enough balanced information to adequately inform decision making.”
Critics of Dr. Mehmet Oz, an accomplished cardiac surgeon with degrees from two Ivy League universities, complain that his show is little more than an hour-long infomercial for weight-loss fads like green coffee bean extract. (The Federal Trade Commission has sued the company that hawks this dubious product.) A spokesman for the Center for Inquiry accused him of selling “snake oil.” In June, a Senate subcommittee took him to task for telling his viewers (who number 2.9 million on any given day) things like: “I’ve got the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketones.”
“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said during the hearing...