Many Registered Dietitians and other healthcare professionals let out a big “Hoorah!” when Dr. Oz faced tough criticism on Capitol Hill last summer. He was called to testify during a Senate hearing about “Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products.”
by Rebecca Greer, MS, RDN, LDN
It’s about time! Dr. Oz’s show has been a platform for many untested, dubious weight loss supplements (16 different types at my last count including Red Raspberry Ketones, Garcinia Cambogia, HCG and Green Coffee Bean Extract) and this needed to be reined in. He is contributing to the message in our society that weight loss can be easily fixed by a supplement, which is damaging. It is damaging not only because these supplements are scams and a waste of money, but also because they distract from the bigger message that long term, successful weight loss is hard and there is no magic pill. But, you don’t have to take my word for it. In 2014 alone, the FTC sued the following companies for fraudulent weight loss products:
1. Sensa: Remember this one? “sprinkle, eat, and lose weight”-
2. HCG Diet Direct: An unproven human hormone that has been touted by for more than 50 years as weight-loss treatment
3. L’Occitane: Claimed its skin cream would slim users’ bodies
4. LeanSpa, LLC: Deceptively promoted acai berry and “colon cleanse” weight-loss supplements through fake news websites.
5. And last but not least, Pure Green Coffee: Used false weight-loss claims and fake news websites to market its dietary supplement. The FTC claimed that weeks after green coffee was promoted on the Dr. Oz Show, Pure Green Coffee began selling their Pure Green Coffee extract, charging $50 for a one-month supply.
My hope is that the stern questioning of Dr. Oz will bring to light that we all need to be very skeptical of the weight loss industry. There is absolutely no pill, potion, or shake that can ensure easy, quick and safe weight loss. I believe this question posed to Dr. Oz sums up the issue perfectly, "Why would you say something is a miracle in a bottle?"
Want real answers about your weight concerns? Contact a Registered Dietitian near you.