The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reviewed popular medical talk shows “The Doctors” and “The Dr. Oz Show” and found that much of their advices were not substantiated by research. Christina Korownyk of the University of Alberta was lead author for this study.
The BMJ assessed 40 episodes each of these shows and compared their medical advice to the ‘accurate’ medical information available. They found at least half of those recommendations by the cast of “The Doctors” and Dr. Mehmet Oz to be in contradiction with the best information available or without any supporting evidence.
The study authors also pointed at a future study to determine if such shows shall be recognized for providing more than entertainment by gauging viewers’ acceptance or rejection of the medical advice.
The study found only a third to one-half of recommendations at par with available information or somewhat reliable evidence. It clearly guides to be skeptical about any advice provided on television medical talk shows.
However, the study is not the first to prove the odds of medical advices aired on popular medical talk shows. Dr. Oz in particular is under scrutiny for his false claims about a diet product that hauled into Congress back in June. There he was accused of giving false hope to the people and Sen. Claire McCaskill grilled him for the bad recommendation.
The congressional hearing and the recent study gives a tight slap to the popularity and charisma of Dr. Oz, often regarded as “America’s Doctor.” Some of the medical advices by Dr. Oz, which were questioned, include his claims to lower risk of ovarian cancer by up to 75% and burning fast fat with a miraculous weight-loss pill.
Another study that tried to examine the evidence behind Dr. Oz’s claims is available on PubMed.gov. A study titled, Reality Check: There is no such thing as a miracle food, is authored by University of Minnesota, Minneapolis professor Inoue-Choi.