Why Dr. Oz Got In Trouble

July 16, 2014   32 Comments

In case you missed it, last month Dr. Oz got called on the carpet by a United States Senator for endorsing “magic pills”.

Why Dr. Oz Got In Trouble

I believe Dr. Oz was trying to grow a beanstalk.

Actually, he was endorsing diet supplements meant to help people lose weight. It seems that Americans spent a whopping $2.4 billion on weight loss products and services and it is the most common source of consumer fraud.

We all know that weight loss pills are a joke, right? Who would spend their hard earned cash on a promise like, “One pill a day, eat whatever you want, and the weight will just melt off”?

How about a New York Times, college educated, columnist? Naaah. He wouldn’t buy that stuff. Except that Frank Bruni DID purchase Garcinia Cambogia and admitted in an editorial here: Diet Lures and Diet Lies.

Frank Bruni has famously struggled with his weight and he bought it after he read an endorsement by Dr. Oz.

When I first watched Dr. Oz talk about green coffee extract, I thought he was earning some sort of kick back from the product. He called it a “miracle” and I wondered how much money he was making from endorsing it.

After watching Senator Claire McCaskill skewer him over endorsements of diet pills, I learned that he isn’t making any money from these supplements that he endorses. Companies pop up like mushrooms after he mentions a supplement and use his image and words to sell it. Those companies are using his image without his permission.

Here is a (now) famous exchange between McCaskill and Dr. Oz:

Interestingly, McCaskill has struggled with losing weight and has recently dropped some pounds. Perhaps she bought some of these “magical pills” on her journey. She has said that eating healthy and moving more have been the keys to her success.

I am a Dr. Oz fan because I find that 99% of what he says makes sense. He has done a bunch of shows on healthy eating and I love how he tries to motivate people to change their health. I also remember seeing him on Oprah, showing the audience a healthy lung versus one from a smoker and I was impressed with his presence.

Here he is making a world of sense (with an organ to show us) on weight loss and over 1.6 million people have watched it.

How cool is that? I want to ensure I don't have any of that stuff around my liver!

Dr. Oz says he tries to give his audience hope. Well, I hope he stops endorsing weight loss supplements because it is a MESS when he does.

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I'm confused. You criticize him for endorsing weight loss products but it sounds to me like that is what he has NOT done. In fact it sounds like what he has done is highlight certain ingredients or properties that studies seem to show have a positive affect on weight loss. Since he has not endorsed an actual product many products (some good some a scam) claim his endorsement for their product because they claim to contain the ingredient he has lauded. I have heard him state many times that if products claim his endorsement it is false as he does not endorse products.

Dr. Oz has made many false claims and I fell for one of them. To me he is in the same category as Dr. Phil...........a money grabbing money hungry charleton.

I watch Dr. Oz and never once did he say you have to buy these products, that was a choice, I live in Mo I think McCaskill would have more important things to do that go after Dr. Oz

I like Dr. Oz. The products he mentions help SOME, not all. He even states this. He uses the information that anyone can search on line for. He gets his information from studies that the government and medical people have done, they're not his own.

I have learned a lot from him. He has never once said to buy anything, but try it if it suits you. I was so baffled as to why he was getting into trouble. There are a lot worse things out there.

I have stopped watching Dr. Oz. I feel his silly props and demonstrations are so degrading to one's intelligence. When I watch a DOCTOR who has a television show, I want facts. I want to be spoken to as an adult not a child or someone with low intelligence. His audience actually make fools of themselves, with this ohhhhhhh Dr. Oz ect. rock star worshiping!!

What is wrong with people?!!

Like all tv personalities,Dr. Phill, Opra ect. fame has gone to their heads and they are no longer doing service to the viewers that they first set out to do.

I'm sorry I have to disagree with what they are doing to him. He doesnt give product names and yes there are some things like all natural glucomannan that do help you lose weight. I take it and it helps me cut back on eating. It has also helped me to quit drinking. I no longer crave sugar as well. What works for one may not work for everyone, but that is with any vitamin or prescription medicine. remember vitamins are NOT FDA approved either. Like he said he never tells people what to buy or leads them on, he just states how some certain vitamins or natural plant based vitamins can help!!

I gave up on Dr. Oz after a short amount of time. His face is on every cheap magazine hawking yet another diet miracle. I enjoyed his visits on Oprah, they were informative and taught us something, but you can't hawk every diet pill, every diet wierdo that comes down the hill and expect people who want real help to find you anything but fake.

Dr. Oz should stick to practicing what he was trained to do. He talks about a lot of things that he really knows very little to nothing about and people believe him because Oprah has dubbed him "America's Doctor". When I saw him smelling a woman's "stinky" belly button in his audience, I knew he would do anything for ratings.

Janet, I totally agree. When I retired 15 yrs ago I watched a bit of daytime tv and thanked my lucky stars for all the years I worked. Shortly thereafter I cancelled cable. Between rude hosts screaming over each other, audiences acting like fools, faux news ''shows'', there was very little loss.

[I loaned entertainment videos from our fabulous Clinton Library-decades of PBS Masterpiece offerings, get my vitamin/health info online as well as news from many sources.]

Early on in Dr. Oz's television exposure, I thought he would be a good source of information. Shortly after, however, his endorsements have soured my opinion.

Reputation is a hard thing to get back after taking a dunk in the vat o' crap. I now associate him with the word 'charlatan'. I'm afraid that won't change, no matter what he does going forward.


I agree with Denise (above). I could not have said it better myself!

Snack Girl, you are the queen of going after companies for false claims on food packaging. So I am surprised you are so soft on Dr. Oz in this post. I completely understand that shady companies use his photo to imply endorsement without his consent - which is what that congressional hearing was about. But the fact remains that he endorses sham weight loss cures on his show! Even if he doesn't endorse specific products, he is giving people false hope. It's just another form of false labeling.

the senator has picked on the wrong person~

Thank you Snack Girl for this helpful info. i was just about to purchase green coffee capsules.

I have watched many of his shows on supplements and I have never once heard him say a certain pill would help everyone. I have heard him say over and over, watch your intake, exercise and give up certain carbs. People just aren't listening. They want to blame Dr Oz for their own failures. So if you think Snack Girl was soft on him, she just gets it. She knows his image is being used without his permission and she was listening when he said there is no magic pill that will work for everyone.

I dunno, I like Dr. Oz for coming down to the everyday people.. sure his props are silly but you know what.. the point get across. And I respect that he brings attention to some health issues that might need talking about and some POSSIBLE aids for better health.

HOWEVER, I like to do my own research... I mean as adults the point is that you ought to have enough reason to listen to options presented, find out what other options are out there and make an informed decision based on what you learn. Don't just let people (celebrity doctors or not) tell you "Here you go... Cure for cancer." or "Here you and exercise in a pill/serum/berry!" Just saying.

I am also in the middle on Dr. Oz. I have learned a lot from him and I get tired of his silly ratings stunts. I really hate the format he chose for his show - a little information on a lot of things. I really enjoyed him on Oprah and wish he had chosen that format - one, maybe two topics per show. Instead he has to resort to the silly stuff in order to fill the time because he can only go over the same stuff so many times. I think the senator was right to go after him though. He claims not to endorse brands but he knows good and well what's going to happen once he mentions a product on the show.

I think Dr. Oz has helped a lot of people in many ways-----from losing weight to the newest anti-aging procedures. He never endorses a product name and I'm sure he researches everything he puts on his show. I also think his props and demonstrations are fun and helps people understand what he is talking about. He makes the show informative and the people love doing the demonstrations.

Actually, hubby has taken the green coffee beans and lost a lot of belly fat. It has worked for him. I think Dr. Oz often has good information.

When taking "diet pills" many people think they don't have to eat a healthy diet or they don't takes them on a regular basis. There has to be consistency and patience to achieve success.

I used to work at a tea shop. And one day, Dr. Oz went on his show and talked up the benefits of certain teas - white tea, green tea, and oolong tea.

The next day, that was 90% of our customers. "Dr. Oz talked about, um, white tea? What do you have that's good?" He didn't name our company, he didn't name tea brands. But people came in, and in most cases, spent $150+ on tea and stuff to brew it that I'm sure they didn't use more than a week, since none ever came back for more tea. It was hard to watch, but, frankly, we loved him.

From a personal standpoint, I feel like he does talk down to people on his show, and repeats a lot of the same stuff. But the same people who blindly did whatever Oprah told them needed someone to follow.

On one of Dr Oz's shows he was talking about an appetite suppressant called garcinia cambogia. He gave the facts about the product and stated that he doesn't support or endorse any brand of garcinia cambogia. When I looked up the product - there were tons of sites listing "recommended by Dr Oz" so you can see where the trouble starts.

BTW, garcinia cambogia works for me, but not for everyone .. as stated by Dr Oz. See his site for details.


This is my issue witht he whole thing. Dr. Oz wasn't selling it. He does research and puts out his findings the issue are the lazy people that want to lose weight by depending on a pill while still sitting on their butts eating a double greasy cheesy burger. That is the issue. Also when he does put stuff like that out there he always says to consult your physician. So why aren't people doing that? I know I do. Lipo and such are dangerous too, but you don't see them calling plastic surgeons to the carpet. Maybe it's because a few politicians use it as well. He has busted a company that was selling I think it was a diet pill that he had already said was dangerous where I live in San Diego and they had put his name to it, so he traveled to San Diego and busted them. Unfortunately there are too many people that want to lose weight the quick and wrong way then the right way and these crappy pill pushers are taking advantage of it the moment they see him bring something to light or a study that he found. They know that people are going to be flocking to find this stuff. He puts out what to look for and what to stay away from but people want him to put out brands or they go for something that is close enough. Its sad that he has to bare the blame for the fact that people choose to buy bad products. I think that if people did ask their Doctors then maybe their Doctors could prescribe something that would be effective and a little safer. Shame.

So, Dr. Oz says that he doesn't endorse specific brand names. True. He does however, endorse a myriad of generic fix alls and is constantly quoted as an expert. People buy the products that he endorses with their hard earned money hoping for an easy solution. Yes, he's right about healthy eating and exercise and the rest is just lost as the result of his charlatan style presentation. And, perhaps worse, many manufactures take advantage of his hype and produce sub par products to dupe the consumer. And btw, I'm a proponent of herbal medicine and alternative medicine just not Dr. Oz. I believe that he's lost any credibility that he may have had. So, read Dr. Ornish or Dr.Esselstyn or the Engine 2 diet for some sound and healthy nutritional perspective and take the enternainment of Dr. Oz as just that.

I lost all respect for him years ago, and his endorsement of such products only makes that stronger. How does endorsing products that don't work, that as a physician he KNOWS won't work, giving anyone HOPE??? It shows me he doesn't do his research, doesn't speak truth and not to listen to his advice about anything. There are too many good, honest folks out there that aren't trying to market false hope.

Dr. Oz does give alot of good health advice but even though he doesn't come out and endorse specific supplements, per say, he does speak about them on his show. Of course, because people believe in him they feel that if he talks about it on his show, it's true. I feel he shouldn't be talking about these products because it is a kind of endorsement.

I ordered garcinia cambogia to see if it would work for me, all the time knowing the best way to lose weight was exercise and a healthy diet, eating clean so to speak. After the trial period I called to return and the fellow I talked to was insistent that I keep it and that it would take at least 2 weeks to see the fat burn. I kept saying "I want to return it." He was not happy and kept reducing the price so I wouldn't have to return the product. He offered the product for $8.95 a bottle and I could keep and not return. I repeated, "I want to return the product." After 10 minutes he finally agreed to take it back. I have ordered trial offers so many times and sent them back before I have to buy the product, I think I have learned my lesson. No more trial offers! Too much of a hassle...

Dr. Oz drives me crazy. I work as a nutrition aide and do home visits, I get so many clients who will say Dr. Oz said not to drink water and then not to drink apple juice. One client was taking mango pills she heard Dr Oz talk about that will help them lose weight, It's the next big thing. They all believed everything he would say. Then they would be so upset that it didn't work. I find it hard to believe he didn't know the companies were using his name. He's not a stupid man. Everyone wants the easy way out. It comes back to the age old saying "Eat less, Move more"

I watch Dr. Oz in the background while is am doing chores or working. I like his natural food and lifestyle recommendations, but honestly, I cannot keep track of all of it.

My takeaway from him is to have a balanced diet with a variety of foods including fish and some meats and exercise. I have tried to stay away from herbal supplements because I have had some allergic reaction to it once... And I did not find that through Dr. Oz.

I do like his presentations - I call it a "dog and pony" show. A majority of folks are probably not as knowledgeable about the human body and the Dr. Oz show has a good way of making folks understand it in simple ways. I actually got my husband watching him too and we both learned a lot.

The reason he may seem to talk down to people is for a reason. Not all people can understand medical talk. He talks to the public so everyone can understand him. That is the problem in doctors offices the doctor goes off in his speech the pt shakes their head like they understand because they are to embarrassed about not understanding and leaves. Then they make mistakes in the orders that the Dr gives them or doesn't understand their disease process.

I am not a fan of his and never have been from day one! I am leary of folks that over sensationalized anything and he does well at sensationalize everything! I can't stomach watching him at all and to me he got caught even if he did not take money...he still promoted it!

I think Dr. Oz is great. Not perfect, but great. He has done a lot to enlighten the American public about how to be healthier. I think that the medical student who launched a campaign against him is probably a shill for doctors/

medical professors, who did not want to go against Oz publicly themselves and rather than doing that, encouraged a neophyte to do it for them. Dr. Oz is a respected heart surgeon who has a sideline of promoting public health/educating the public. In addition to qualifying as an MD, Oz was specially educated to promote public health including through the media. Most doctors do not ever make an effort to educate even their own patients in any kind of concerted way that could actually help. Dr. Oz does. I think other doctors are jealous and want to bring him down. He is a threat to the old boys club that spends its energies charging patients too much and then referring those same patients to as many of their cronies specialists as possible, so that the circle of doctor chums can have a feeding frenzy at the expense of the finances of unfortunate and unsuspecting patients. That kind of medicine is no longer much respected by the public and the docs who practice it are now taking cover under shelter of "concierge practices" and other gimmicks that bilk patients and operate far removed from the principles of the now archaic Hippocratic oath.

well said Sabi. Dr. Oz is first and formost an educator, and he does educate the silent crowds who are clueless and even those who are not generally clueless, but who do not know all the stuff he talks about in his programs. However, sometimes he too gets entangled in commercial atitudes and marketing that he should not have.

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