Do you watch Dr. Oz and follow his advice religiously? Well, according to a new study his claims are baseless more than half of the time.
A recent study published in the British Medical Journey concluded that the famous talk show host — who is known for giving advice on everything from losing weight to the best diets — has made some less than accurate statements. Non Dr. Oz followers have claimed for years that his advice is bogus and this study seem to confirm that, in part.
The news will upset millions of people who watch his show, The Dr. Oz Show, every day and those who follow what they think is medically proven advice. So how did the study come to this conclusion?
Researchers selected 40 random episodes of the popular Dr. Oz Show and another very popular talk show, The Doctors, and dissected them to analyze the medical advice being given to the viewers. First of all, by selecting random episodes, rather that ones which contain questionable information, the study gets even more validation and remains impartial.
Secondly, this particular study — conducted by several scientists — gives viewers a clear picture of the quality of health-based talk shows, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are becoming more conscientious about their health.
The study’s objective is “determine the quality of health recommendations and claims made on popular medical talk shows” such as the one hosted by Dr. Oz — who is an award winning daytime host.
“Investigators randomly selected 40 episodes of each of The Dr Oz Show and The Doctors from early 2013 and identified and evaluated all recommendations made on each program. A group of experienced evidence reviewers independently searched for, and evaluated as a team, evidence to support 80 randomly selected recommendations from each show.”
About half of the health recommendations had either no evidence behind them or they actually contradicted what the best-available science tells us, concludes Julia Belluz, of Vox, a staunch detractor of both shows, who calls the health advice provided by Dr. Oz and The Doctors, “dubious and harmful.”
Moreover, the benefit of the health claims given by Dr. Oz and The Doctors was out played for bigger impact, while the harmful side effects or consequences were mostly ignored. The authors write that viewers blindly trusted claims made in the programs.
“Anyone who followed the advice provided would be doing so on the basis of a trust in the host or guest rather than through a balanced explanation of benefits, harms, and costs. The near absence of potential conflict of interest reporting further challenges viewers’ ability to balance the information provided.”
“Consumers should be skeptical about any recommendations provided on television medical talk shows, as details are limited and only a third to one half of recommendations are based on believable or somewhat believable evidence.”
Do you watch the Dr. Oz Show or The Doctors? Do you follow their advice without doing your own research?
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