Halloween is almost upon us and it is not Freddy, Jason, or Chucky that are giving me nightmares this year. It is Dr. Oz! Of course, I want to support anyone that helps Americans take steps toward improving their health and quality of life. However, I have a hard time supporting the nutrition misinformation provided just to sell a product or increase TV ratings.
Here are five ways Dr. Oz scares me:
1. Everything is a miracle food! Dr. Oz loves talking about the next big miracle food and how it can cure everything from a cold to cancer. Unfortunately, there is no one miracle food! The position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that, “the total diet or overall pattern of food eaten is the most important focus of a healthful eating style.” One or two single foods or ingredients should not be the main focus of anyone’s diet in order to promote overall health or prevent chronic diseases.
2. Countless weight loss product endorsements. Remember, Raspberry Ketones? Here is just one example of a weight loss product Dr. Oz introduced as revolutionary metabolism booster. This show feels more like a late night infomercial with all the weight loss products that are trying to be sold as the next big thing.
3. He is not the (great and powerful) OZ who knows all. He is a cardiologist. So, why does he pretend to be a nutrition expert? No one person can know everything about nutrition and most doctors don’t have a great (or even good) background in this specific area. Why? Because they didn’t go to school to get a B.S. in Dietetics and an M.S. in Nutritional Sciences. It is a completely separate educational path and career (see registered dietitian).
4. Gimmicks increase TV ratings not the truth. Sad, but true. No TV show can survive with segments talking about increasing your vegetable intake, getting active, and obtaining adequate sleep. The truth is boring. Gimmicks and fad diets on the other hand get people talking, because everyone likes quick fixes. The problem is gimmicks don’t work they just increase ratings. Want to read more about gimmicks and fad diets check out, “What puts the FAD in Fad Diets?”
5. Dr. Oz isn’t your primary care physician. At this point, I think most individuals have heard the phrase, “but Dr. Oz said.” Dr. Oz may inspire you to go get a colonoscopy or start working out, but that doesn’t mean that you should take his advice over your own primary care physician (PCP) or registered dietitian (RD) for that matter. Your PCP knows your personal medical history and will be able to recommend a preventive or treatment plan that is individualized for you. A one size fits all approach that you hear on TV may not necessarily be the best option for you. Just remember before starting any kind of weight loss or medical treatment plan please consult your PCP first.