In shocking news that's neither shocking nor news, Dr. Oz admitted to Congress that many of the products he promotes don't stand up to scientific scrutiny. He tried to defend his desire for people to part with their money by calling himself a cheerleader. Which would be fine, except that he is also a doctor (presumably one who took the Hippocratic Oath to first do no harm), and his name and credentials carry a lot of weight. Pun intended.
I've tried the crap he promotes. Garcinia Cambogia. Raspberry Ketones. Green Coffee Bean Extract. At best, they do nothing. I found the Raspberry Ketones gave me heart palpitations and made me feel funny. Not one of those products did I buy because of Dr. Oz, but on the recommendation of friends (for the latter two), or on someone in a supplements store (for the Garcinia Cambogia). The store even provided a handy glossy-print information sheet about the product. But none of these things became uber-popular until he promoted them as miracles on his show, at which point dozens of brands hit the shelves.
And therein lies the problem. For whatever reason, this man has power. He has the power to promote health, and in some cases he truly does. (I mean, he'll talk about poop. He made the term "S poop" popular. Can't argue with that!). But I now dismiss everything he says because I don't trust what's true and what's hype. If he can't distinguish between the two, how is the average person supposed to?
Tackling the issue of obesity is a two-fold process. It needs to be at a systemic level, so I'm glad that someone who is part of that system - a doctor, a celebrity, an information provider - has been called out on his questionable ethics. The entire diet industry needs more watchdogs pointing fingers at wild claims and poking holes in unscientific studies.
It also needs to be at an individual level. We are all responsible for making our own decisions, even when it means navigating through some very murky waters muddied by misinformation. Do your research. Question everything.
Especially question anything Dr. Oz says.
Unless, of course, you want a cheerleader instead of a doctor.