You May Want to Think Twice Before Following Dr. Oz’s Advice

Photo (cc) by Senator McCaskill

You can’t always believe what you see on television. And when it comes to Dr. Mehmet Oz and the advice he offers on “The Dr. Oz Show,” a new study suggests that consumers have good reason to be skeptical.

The study, published in the journal BMJ, examined 40 episodes of “The Dr. Oz Show” and investigated whether the claims and recommendations Oz made on the show had scientific merit. According to Consumerist, the study revealed these results:

Of the 80 recommendations from these episodes, researchers could only find evidence to support 46 percent of them. That doesn’t mean the claims are true; just that there is at least one piece of qualifying scientific evidence to support what Oz said on the air.

The study found that scientific evidence actually contradicted 15 percent of the advice rendered by Oz on his show.

And it gets worse.

“When researchers looked even closer at the actual evidence, the numbers sink lower, with only 33 percent of the doctor’s recommendations deemed to have evidence that could be labeled ‘believable or somewhat believable,’” Consumerist wrote.

According to Forbes, representatives from “The Dr. Oz Show” said not having scientific evidence to back up his advice isn’t necessarily bad. The representatives said:

“‘The Dr. Oz Show’ has always endeavored to challenge the so-called conventional wisdom, reveal multiple points of view and question the status quo. The observation that some of the topics discussed on the show may differ from popular opinion or various academic analyses affirms that we are furthering a constructive dialogue about health and wellness.”

The study in BMJ said medical decisions shouldn’t be made after watching a medical talk show on television.

“Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows as details are limited and only a third to one half of recommendations are based on believable or somewhat believable evidence,” said the study, which examined Oz’s show and another medical show.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee in June accused Oz of misleading consumers when he touted green coffee bean extract as a weight loss supplement, according to CBS. In reality, the pills weren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for weight loss, and the company that produced them settled a false advertising suit with the Federal Trade Commission in September.

What do you think of the study’s findings about Dr. Oz? Have you watched his show? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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