Well-known TV show personality Dr. Mehmet Oz has landed in hot water after promoting some questionable “miracle” weight loss products to his audience time and again.
That water got even hotter for the “Dr. Oz Show” host when he was forced to testify in front of members of Congress last week.
Senator Claire McCaskill, head of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, led a panel that looked into claims that Dr. Oz participated in false advertising for weight loss products.
Here are seven important takeaways from the hearing:
- The latest weight loss products are often seen as goldmines for TV talk shows and morning programs. Viewers are always interested in learning how to quickly and easily drop a few pounds, making miracle diets and weight-loss supplements popular topics of discussion. The problem is that Dr. Oz, along with many other media outlets, eagerly endorse products that are not properly tested or evaluated for effectiveness.
- Dr. Oz defended his right to suggest ways viewers could “kick-start” weight loss programs by using products that are “easily available online.” When products are endorsed by a trusted medical professional, such as Dr. Oz, customers often ignore the fact they lack FDA-approval and have shown no official rate of success.
- It would appear that Dr. Oz’s endorsement of green coffee beans initially kicked this whole false claims investigation into high gear. Senator McCaskill specifically took the doctor to task on a show where he stated that green coffee bean extract was a “magic weight loss cure for every body type.” Earlier this year, the FTC sued the sellers of Green Coffee Beans for blatantly deceiving consumers.
- Plenty of products out there claim to have the official endorsement of Dr. Oz, but a large number of them are falsely using his image for validity. Due to the intense pressure from Congress, Doctor Oz has now offered to help “drain the swamp” of unscrupulous marketers that use his name to sell so-called miracle pills and cure-alls to millions of Americans who are desperate to lose weight.
- Dr. Oz admitted he has used “flowery” language as a way to promote certain supplements on his show, indicating that perhaps the show’s writers embellished the effectiveness or safety of these products. As such, the doctor has now promised to publish as list of specific products he thinks can help Americans get healthy, taking things further than just eating less and exercising more.
- The TV doctor pointed out that he “never endorsed specific companies or brands, but more generally praised some health supplements as fat busters.” Senator McCaskill responded by saying, “But I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true.”
- The weight loss industry is an area where consumers are particularly vulnerable to fraud, Mary Koelbel Engle, an associate director at the FTC, testified during the hearing. She said a 2011 survey found that more consumers were victims of fraudulent weight loss products than of any of the other specific frauds covered.
Also Read: Do You Know the Warning Signs of Bulimia?
The Media and Eating Disorders
The spread of crash diets, miracle diet pills, and eating disorders can easily be perpetuated by the media.According to the About-Face organization, an astounding 400 to 600 advertisements can be seen every day in magazines, on billboards, on TV, and in newspapers. The spread of crash diets, miracle diet pills, and eating disorders can easily be perpetuated by the media. Skinny celebs and size discrimination are common, making it essential for consumers to differentiate between eating disorders and healthy diets.
Diet advertisements and celebrity endorsements are a huge and misleading issue. Media outlets continually expose viewers to the notion that losing weight can be as simple as taking one pill, when nothing could be further from the truth. Time and time again it has been proven that, for long-term health and weight maintenance, regimented diet plans and miracle supplements do not work.
Help is Here: If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, we can help you find the right treatment options to fit your needs. Call 1-888-332-2565 and speak to a recovery advisor today.