UPDATE: Oprah has dropped Dr. Oz!
Medical researchers from the University of Alberta have determined that over half of the medical advice given on The Dr. Oz Show is total bullshit. You might wanna tell your parents — half the time, Dr. Oz is as made up as The Wizard of Oz.
The research study (published in the British Medical Journal) randomly selected 40 episodes of The Dr. Oz Show from January to May 2013 and had a team of experienced evidence reviewers evaluate the medical recommendations made in each show.
Overall, they found that 46 percent of the recommendations made on his show were supported by previous studies or medical evidence, 15 percent of them were contradicted by previous studies or medical evidence, and 39 percent had no previous studies or evidence backing them up at all.
Luckily, Dr. Oz mostly dispenses dietary advice, so it’s not like he’s telling people to cure diabetes by eating antifreeze or anything supremely dangerous like that (yet). But considering that his show “consistently ranked in the top five talk shows in America (during 2012 to 2013) with an average of 2.9 million viewers per day,” his bullshit advice is undoubtedly influencing lots of people, and that’s troubling.
In fact, this last summer Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill grilled Dr. Oz about his bullshitty claims, mentioning that he loves to use the words “magic” and “miracle” a lot — not exactly comforting words from a medical professional.
The study concludes, “Recommendations made on medical talk shows often lack adequate information on specific benefits or the magnitude of the effects of these benefits. Approximately half of the recommendations have either no evidence or are contradicted by the best available evidence. Potential conflicts of interest are rarely addressed. The public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows.”