What You Need to Know About Dr. Oz Diet Tips

Study helps viewers sort through weight loss advice

Dr Oz Diet Tips
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Do you get your diet advice from Dr. Oz?  Or do you get weight loss tips from other daytime medical shows like The Doctors? If you do, then there is a new research study that will interest you. It turns out that the Dr Oz’s diet tips may not be as helpful as you’d like them to be.  And that might affect your ability to lose weight.

Study Evaluates Dr. Oz Weight Loss Tips

A new study published in The British Medical Journal recently evaluated the quality of health advice provided by popular medical television shows.

A group of researchers, including medical doctors and pharmacy experts, examined the medical advice provided on 40 randomly selected episodes of The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors.  The scientists determined that roughly half of the tips provided have no solid research to support them or that medically established research contradicts the advice provided on the programs.  Researchers concluded, “the public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows.”

The study, released in December 2014, came just months after Dr. Oz testified about his weight loss advice in front of the United States Congress.  Legislators expressed concern that Dr. Oz’s diet tips did not reflect the best medical standards. The doctor’s recommendation of green tea extract for weight loss came under particular scrutiny. Dr. Oz, himself, acknowledged that he should do a better job of providing better weight loss advice.

 

How to Use Dr. Oz Diet Tips to Lose Weight

If you are a fan of The Dr. Oz Show or The Doctors you don’t necessarily have to stop watching the shows if you are looking for weight loss advice. Their diet tips can be fun and are often helpful. But if you use their recommendations to slim down, there are three critical tips you should keep in mind to make sure your weight loss program is successful.

  • TV diet tips may be unbalanced:  The British Medical Journal research points out that the medical and diet advice provided on these popular shows is often presented without the balance needed to help viewers make fully informed decisions. The researchers also point out that conflicts of interests are often ignored.

    As a viewer, that means that you need to take weight loss tips with a grain of salt.  Understand that you may not be getting all the facts about an exciting new treatment, diet pill or weight loss supplement and that a featured expert who is recommending the pill may also benefit financially from selling it. If you are interested in a particular weight loss product mentioned on the show, discuss it with your own doctor or registered dietitian to get a more balanced perspective.
     
  • TV weight loss advice is not personalized. Many of the diet tips or lifestyle recommendations provided by Dr. Oz and The Doctors may work for some television viewers, but may not be the healthiest suggestion for you.  Remember that every dieter’s health history, goals and lifestyle is different.  A great diet tip for your friend might be the worst diet tip for you. 

    If the weight loss advice you see on television contradicts the personalized advice you’ve received from your own health care team – and especially if your weight loss program is already working – be very cautious before you change your program based on the TV show advice.  The BMJ researchers suggest that you get detailed information from your personal physician about the specific benefit, potential harms and real cost or inconvenience of any treatment before you incorporate it into your program.
     
  • Medical shows provide entertainment.  Ultimately, daytime television shows provide entertainment to their viewing audience.  Diet tips are presented in a way that makes the viewing experience fun and interesting.  Unfortunately that may lead to confusion or misinterpretation.

    For example, on a recent episode of his show, Dr Oz recommended eating pine nuts before bed at night to curb nighttime snacking.  He said that dieters should eat two tablespoons of the fatty nut to help manage cravings. But as Dr. Oz explained his diet tip, he stood in front of a large bowl of pine nuts.  It would have been reasonable for a viewer who was not paying close attention to believe that eating a larger portion of pine nuts could help them lose weight.  But since pine nuts are high in fat, eating too many of them could cause that viewer to gain weight instead.
Diet tips from Dr Oz may help you slim down, but any weight loss advice whether it comes from television, magazines or online should be evaluated with a critical eye.  If it seems too easy or too good to be true, it probably is.  Use Dr Oz’s diet tips to get ideas, then discuss the specifics with your own health care provider or registered dietitian in order to stay safe and reach your goals.

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