Oz Under Fire - © CBS News

Lawmakers scold Dr. Oz for Fad-Diet Nuttiness

This story originally broke some time ago, but I thought we could plug it in during an otherwise slow news week just to keep you up-to-date on the ups and downs of the amazingly popular but often criticized Dr. Mehmet Oz, pusher of many a nutty diet and health enhancement scheme on the afternoon talk shows…

Oz on the Grill -  © Olivier Douliery - abacausa.comDr Mehmet Oz testifying before a Senate Sub-Committee hearing into
the deceptive advertising of diet plans and products.

We last mentioned Dr. Oz in these pages when he came out praising the scientifically unsound (according to doctors, biologists and chemists) Alkaline Diet. He’s been making a good living and getting a lot of valuable promotion for his myriad self-help books over the past few years promoting the latest diet and health fads on U.S. television talk shows. He’s a regular celebrity.

But a U.S. Senate Sub-Committee hearing summoned Oz recently to testify about the deceptive advertising of weight loss products – some of them, products he himself has recommended to national television audiences.

In the process, Oz proved that he is not only a charismatic salesman and engaging story teller, but a politician of some skill and finesse. While, on the one hand, admitting he has endorsed certain trends and fads, he insisted that he has never promoted or endorsed any specific product, brand or company in his television appearances, magazine articles or books.

Prodded by a Committee member, Oz offered to create – and stand behind – a list of diet products he believes work well and cause no harm.

“I’ve been actively looking at that,” said Oz. “With your suggestion and support, I think I’m going to do it and I think it’ll do a lot to drain the swamp that we’ve created around this area.”

Thus did Oz the politician position himself as a Gator Hunter, rather than the swamp creature some have characterized him as.

And I know you’re all as anxious as I am to see the good Dr.’s list of ‘good’ diet products…

The Moral(s) to this story?

  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Even little white lies about food or nutrition-related issues can come back to bite you in the Nether Reaches…
  • And… If you want to avoid the flak, fly below the radar.

~ Maggie J.