In a recent study published Wednesday in the prestigious British Medical Journal, a team of Canadian researchers argue that Dr Oz’s medical advice is often either contradicted by science or partially invalidated.
For their study, researchers watched about 40 last-year episodes of The Dr. Oz Show and picked nearly 480 medical claims. Among these, only 46 percent were backed up by science, 15 percent were proved wrong by science, while 39 percent lacked any scientific evidence.
However, the Canadian researchers say that these figures may not be entirely accurate since many of Dr. Oz’s recommendations were very hard to quantify such as “sneezing into your elbow prevents the spread of germs.”
The study was published during a very hot debate over whether Americans should trust TV doctors or not, while Dr. Oz has been several times criticized for giving up scientific accuracy of his recommendations for a higher audience score.
The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors, another medical infotainment show, can each gather about 2.5 million viewers on a single day. So, whatever Dr. Oz and Dr. Stork say to their viewers can have more authority that 10,000 GPs combined. Recently, one of the Dr. Oz’s fans confessed during the show that he hadn’t seen his GP’s office for eight years because Dr. Oz’s advice was all he needed and trusted.
However, Dr. Oz’s huge popularity could be also the result of a well-planned marketing strategy – making people believe that GPs are hiding things from them, or their practice methods are outdated, while Dr. Oz is uncovering the ugly truths and giving medicine a fresh new look.
“Much of medicine is just plain old logic. So I am out there trying to persuade people to be patients. And that often means telling them what the establishment doesn’t want to hear: that their answers are not only the answers, and their medicine is not the only medicine,”
Dr. Oz said in an interview.
Yet, Dr. Oz’s popularity suffered a violent convulsion this summer when “America’s Doctor” was called by the U.S. Senate to answer the allegations that he had promoted weight-loss fraud in his show by praising a “miraculous” fat-burner drug.
Back in June, Senator Claire McCaskill, customer protection representative, asked Dr. Oz why he kept saying that the product was good since he knew that it wasn’t.
“When you call a product a miracle, and it’s something you can buy and it’s something that gives people false hope, I just don’t understand why you need to go there,”
McCaskill also told him.
Dr Oz replayed that he actually did personally believed everything he was saying during his show, and that he had never given his audience a different piece of advice as he would give to his family.
Image Source: Popsugar
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