Dr. Oz under fire for endorsing ‘bogus’ weight loss products

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(CNN) — Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Doctor Oz Show,” was grilled Tuesday by senators on Capitol Hill about the promotion of weight loss products on his show.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance, led the panel that looked at false advertising for weight loss products. Subcommittee members took issue with claims Oz has made on his show about products that don’t have a lot of scientific evidence to back them up, such as green coffee beans.

“The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles,'” said McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. She said she was discouraged by the “false hope” his rhetoric gives viewers and questioned his role, “intentional or not, in perpetuating these scams.”

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true. When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show?… With power comes a great deal of responsibility.”

Oz told the committee that he does use “flowery language” to describe certain products on his show, but added he believes in them so much he has given them to his own family.

“My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience, and when they don’t think they have hope, when they don’t think they can make it happen, I want to look, and I do look everywhere, including in alternative healing traditions, for any evidence that might be supportive to them,” Oz told the panel.

He testified that he could not be held responsible for what certain companies say online about the products. He said he’s toned down some of his language and will publish a list of products he thinks really can help people lose weight.

“To not have the conversation about supplements at all however would be a disservice to the viewer,” Oz said in a prepared statement after the hearing. “In addition to exercising an abundance of caution in discussing promising research and products in the future, I look forward to working with all those present today in finding a way to deal with the problems of weight loss scams.”

In May, the Federal Trade Commission sued the sellers of Green Coffee Beans for deceiving consumers through fake news sites and invented health claims. The FTC said that weeks after “The Doctor Oz Show” promoted the benefits of Pure Green Coffee, some companies that marketed the product used video from his show to increase sales.

The FTC told CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that there are just “too many” of these products to sue them all. But consumers should be wary of certain phrases that are most certainly false, the FTC said, including any that claim to help you lose weight without diet and exercise.

Bottom line — don’t believe everything you see. Do your homework online and make sure any claim about a weight loss product is backed up by scientific evidence.

9 comments

  • Eric Miklas

    As well he should be,…. I tried it, did EXACTLY as described,….and BULLSHIT and then they tried to soak me for $150.00 which I had to fight tooth and fail to get back ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Garcinia Gambozia is a TOTAL SCAM ! ! ! Whatever “hit” Doctor Oz takes, is WELL WORTH IT ! ! !

  • Hilary Morgan

    I was over weight and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 18 pounds in one month without much exercise and it’s been a life changer. I’m a little embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I’ve been doing then I’d be happy to help in any way. Just shoot me an email at secretosdelara@gmail.com and I’ll show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things are going for me with the stuff I’ve tried. I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day

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  • Lisa

    THIS IS BULLSHIT! Dr. Oz speaks the truth and people want to say it’s a fraud or bogus! STOP PUSHING BIG PHARMA and learn to research on your OWN! DR. OZ KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!

  • Tasha Wright

    Hello Ashley,
    I think not all of the products are bogus or fake. Yes it is better to go with some natural products but its takes time. I have reviewed so many weight lose products among them really work, hope that will help others as well.

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