Are You Kidding Me Dr. Oz?

September 28, 2010   38 Comments

There are some wonderful writers out there who use the blogosphere to critique the BIG boys. My friend, Jen, who writes The Wellness Bitch took on Dr. Oz last week.

Are You Kidding Me Dr. Oz?

She writes about food, wellness, and health topics and she makes her feelings known :)

She was kind enough to allow me to repost this article from The Wellness Bitch:

Someone please tell me I’m reading this wrong. Or I’ve gone blind. Or I’m in an alternate universe.

Yesterday on Facebook, I saw Dr. Oz posted about his 28-day National Soda Challenge. I thought this sounded pretty cool — From the description, it seemed like a community effort to quit something that makes people sick. As Dr. Oz says in the intro to the 28-Day challenge:

Soda is an addictive stimulant, loaded with caffeine and high-fructose corn syrup; it’s making Americans sick and fat. Break the cycle of addiction…

So I read further. Dr. Oz starts with Step 1: Go Sugar Free. This is a great suggestion. Except for the fact that Dr. Oz suggests you switch from soda to diet soda.

Are you f-ing kidding me, Dr. Oz?

He claims, “If you only drink diet soda already, you’re one step ahead of the game.”

One step towards where? Cancer? Death? How do you justify suggesting people switch from one drug to another?

I took a deep breath and continued on to Step 2 hoping it would get better.


Step 2: Go caffeine free. Okay, good start. But then Dr. Oz reminds the challenge participants:

Remember that headaches are a common symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Take ibuprofen for headache relief.

Couldn’t Dr. Oz…proponent of natural medicine…offer any other suggestions for headache relief other than medication? How about massage? Acupressure? Acupuncture? Extra rest? Deep breathing? Sure, he encourages you to add “foods rich in vitamin B to your diet, like chickpeas, spinach and whole grain cereal.” But that type of diet change is not going to offer immediate headache relief.

By the time you get to Step 4, you’re supposed to be “Soda Free.” Hooray for you!

And you know what Dr. Oz suggests if you’re still having a hard time 28 days later?

"If you experience a craving, try chewing sugar-free gum. Additionally, if you find yourself fixating on soda, find a method of distraction, like taking a walk, doing 10 push-ups or cleaning."

Look, Dr. Oz. I know it’s not you writing the content for this challenge. It’s very likely you hardly even know it’s taking place!

But the next time your assistant hires an intern to handle your social media content, try to choose someone


This is unacceptable.

If you agree, RETWEET this like crazy, SHARE this post with your friends, and go visit Dr. Oz’s web communities and point him to The Wellness Bitch. Let’s WAKE UP Dr. Oz.

UPDATE: By the way, folks, Dr. Oz’s resume includes “Honored by the New York Open Center for “outstanding research in writing and communication (and for) bridging Western and alternative/complementary medicine.” Not this time.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 38 )

I can admit to drinking a diet soda on occasion, but even I know that it is basically composed of chemicals.

Maybe he's trying to reach the hard core soda drinkers, and suggest changes that will stick?

Even if that were the case, you're absolutely right that there should be more information about healthier changes or maybe a mission statement defining the target audience.

In a perfect world, which does not exist, Dr. Oz's recommendations might not be good advice. However, when it comes to our food culture, we live in an incredibly imperfect world.

So, while Dr. Oz doesn't need me to defend him, his advice at least moves people to a better food choice -- certainly not perfect.

One tip: I kicked the diet coke habit a while ago. Every once in a while I do want a carbonated drink ... so, I have a club soda. Try it, you might like it.

Ken Leebow

While people who already lead healthy lifestyles can understand how bad soda (leaded or unleaded) is for you, those who are "sugar addicts" will likely have a tough time breaking the habit. I know because in college I was one of these people. I actually think Dr. Oz's advice here is good to wean people off the sugar and eventually off the soda entirely. And those people who are addicted to soda and sugar are not likely already leading healthy lifestyles and so the suggestion of a massage or acupuncture to relieve a headache will have them run in the other direction. I think the baby steps suggested by Dr. Oz are reasonable. I actually like his advice here.

There are individuals who drink over two liters of full-sugar, full-caffeine soda per day, and that's a fact. Yeah, the "advice" may not sound so much like "advice" to those of us who don't, but it seems to me like whoever handled this particular topic (intern, assistant, or Dr. Oz himself) definitely "had a clue" regarding the current dietary habits of many Americans.

I use to drink two huge mugs of diet soda a day up until a few years ago. I decided to quit to see if I ran better and I did. I haven't had any since. I drink herb tea instead.

I normally love guest posts on this site, but this one is not enjoyable. I appreciate the positive and encouraging tips. This "Wellness Bitch" seems, well, bitchy. Too whiney for my taste. I won't be reading any of her guest posts in the future or visiting her blog.

Moving from "regular" sugared sodas to chemically-laden diet sodas is NOT a better choice. It is nowhere near an improvement. Neither option is healthy. When I do speaking engagements, I often spend quite a bit of time explaining how (and WHY!) to quit the soda drinking habit. I would never, ever suggest products that put people's health at risk.

I've had caffeine withdrawal headaches and when I want relief, I want it now! I don't have time to make an appointment with an acupuncturist and I've tried relaxing breathing techniques that don't work for that kind of headache. Besides, if I'm going through withdrawals at work you don't have many options. Those kinds of headaches lead to migraines, sound and light sensitivity and nausea. I'll take my relief now thank you :) in the form of a little pill called Ibprofen :)

Geesh, give some people a break. For those that drink a lot of sugar laced soda, this is an easy step program for them to take. It does not fit everyone. I like his advice.

I don't know. It sounds more like a step down program to me, and some people need that. I think it sounds kind of judgy to assume that everyone should be able to quit them cold turkey. Diet sodas = methadone. I don't see a problem with that if the goal is to cut them out entirely. If you've been drinking sugared sodas your whole life, a couple weeks on diet while you wean yourself off of them isn't going to kill you.

I'm definitely going to be siding with Dr. Oz (or the intern) on this one. If you're a non-soda junkie, then yeah, common sense. But if you're totally addicted to it, the advice given will lessen the withdrawal effects tremendously. While OTC medication may not be ideal for some, when you're in the middle of caffeine withdrawal, you want something that works fast that you don't have to look into. I believe it was written for the most hardcore soda addicts. And as one myself, I couldn't agree more with what was said.

I also think that the Dr. Oz program sounds like a reasonable plan for people that drink soda. I have to agree that the guest post lady is really as her name says...

I completel understand what he is saying. To me this is geared toward hardcore non diet soda drinkers. He is weaning them off of it. Going cold turkey will work for some, but not everyone.

Years ago I was hardcore Mt. Dew drinker. I started mixing regular with diet...slowly switching over diet. Then I worked on smaller quanity. Then I completely quit.

So I am going to cut Dr. Oz some slack here.


I agree. Wellness Bitch needs a chill pill. Or a spin class.

Dr,Oz couldnt be more RIGHT ON! Change is a process that needs to take place in steps , Realistic steps. For a soda junkie , Dr. OZ offers realistic steps. Even heroin addicts are given methadone to get them from one level to another. Ha! you want someone whos a soda junkie to be considering massage and accupuncture!! Pretty sure they are just starting out on their health and wellness journey. Those approaches are far fetched for them at this point.

This is why I read Snack Girl and not The Wellness Bitch. I think Dr. Oz is getting people to take a step in the right direction. It's a doable plan that might lead people to realize they don't need soft drinks as much as they think. I used to have a pretty bad soft drink habit but starting Sept. 1st, I joined a group of people doing a 60oz of water a day for 60 days challenge. The group is called No Fizz Charlotte. Ultimately they want people to give up soft drinks, but that wasn't a part of the challenge at all. BUT, just by me drinking water, and surprisingly getting hooked, I've realized I don't need soft drinks and instantly went from around 3 day to 3 a week. It's really been an eye opener. His "step down" approach is much more doable than what I would assume would be her all or nothing approach.

Keep only the family friendly advice snack girl...I could have done without this one. Her language was ridiculous. I can't imagine what her language would be like if she was really mad at someone!?

I don't agree with going to diet soda's. I quit cold turkey 2 years ago July (July 2008) due to massive headaches I was already having. There are healthier drink alternatives. however my closest friends, co-workers & family all thought I was nuts that I was drinking "water". I don't drink & have never drunk tea (even being from the south) I drink about 15 glasses of water or more a day ;-)

How about a sparkling natural fruit juice beverage instead, like Fruit 66. Any sugars in that come from fruit juice and it's just fruit juice, sparkling water and vitamin C, nothing synthetic.

I'm with Jen!

But why debate which is the lesser of two evils (sugar vs. [what is the new saccharin?] aspartame?)? (Then there's the caffeine, in both!)

What about weaning off soda with seltzer? (Sure the carbon dioxide is not a healthy food either!)

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