Dr. Mehmet Oz was grilled in the hot seat by senators Tuesday for promoting weight loss products that have little scientific evidence on his show.
The popular television personality and host of “The Dr. Oz Show, is under fire after endorsing three products, such as green coffee beans, that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D. Missouri) said gives the public “false hope.” The panel, which is examining false advertising for weight loss products, scolded Dr. Oz for calling these products “miracles.”
“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,” McCaskill, the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, who led the panel said.
In May, the Federal Trade Commission sued the sellers of Green Coffee Beans because they used fake news sites that promoted false health claims. There were three studies conducted on green coffee, one finding that participants lost on an average five pounds while taking the supplement. Another study found that participants lost 18 pounds over 22 weeks, and the last study that used mice found that they lost no weight and the supplement increased their insulin resistance.
Dr. Oz was also called out for promoting another weight loss supplement, Garcinia cambogia back on his show in November 2012. A meta-analysis of the product found that participants did not lose weight.
Dr. Oz testified that he could not be held responsible for what these companies say about their products. Although he admitted to using “flowery language” to describe products on his show, he said he would tone down the language and publish a lost of products he think really could aid in weight loss.
“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, who has 12 million viewers said.
Do you think Dr. Oz is responsible for deceiving the public by endorsing products that have little scientific proof? Do you watch “The Dr. Oz. Show?” What are your thoughts on weight loss products?