Dr. Oz Receives An (ahem) Award

      74 Comments on Dr. Oz Receives An (ahem) Award

Oh, this is funny

We doubt that either Dr. Oz or Andrew Wakefield will be proudly displaying these honors on their mantelpieces: Both received “Pigasus Awards” this April 1 from the  James  Randi  Educational  Foundation for the dubious honor of being among the “5 worst promoters of nonsense.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz got the “Media” Pigasus. The foundation explains why he won the prize: “Dr. Oz is a Harvard-educated cardiac physician who, through his syndicated TV show, has promoted faith healing, ‘energy medicine,’ and other quack theories that have no scientific basis.”

I’d give him the award for scaring people into thinking saturated fat will kill them and for trying to prove low-carb diets are bad for us by eating cheese and pork rinds for a day and then complaining that he was constipated.

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74 thoughts on “Dr. Oz Receives An (ahem) Award

  1. Peggy Cihocki

    I can only say he deserves the award richly–both for the reasons he got it and for the reasons you said.

    Reply
  2. Anne Robertson

    I wish the so-called sceptics at the JREF were sceptical about scientific research, too. They seem to think that all scientists are inhumanly honest and never think to look at where the money is coming from to pay for all that research. I’ve become seriously disillusioned with the JREF, and most of the other so-called sceptics out there.

    Reply
  3. Sierra

    Mainly for the psychic rather than any of his “medical” or dietary advice. Shame.

    Just as an update…
    I have now been low carb for 5 days and my husband for 4. I have lost 2.5lbs mostly from the little tummy bulge I was getting which is now all but gone. I have better mood and energy and feel great. All of that sitting on my couch most of the day without any meaningful exercise at all (homework is a B**** sometimes).

    My husband has lost 4lbs while eating fast food lunches and probably more calories a day than before. Only ~16lbs to go! Oh, and the bacon grease doesn’t seem to be impeding blood flow anywhere Ms. vegan chef 😉

    Thank you so much for your research and taking the time and risk to make your film. I’m telling everyone about your movie, but it is hard to get people to see around the bs we have been fed. Most people start arguing BEFORE they watch your movie or check out the links, then so sure that they are right, they skip off on their merry way. I think this is the most funny on MyFitnessPal (which I have been using to monitor carbs). The vast majority of these people have lots of weight to lose, hence counting calories, yet they are still sure their way is right. I don’t know how you do it…

    I get it, though. When I was living on a low-fat vegetarian diet, I was convinced it was good for me. It took a long time to admit the results didn’t match the theory.

    Reply
  4. SlightlyMine

    So now you think you’re smarter than doctors, eh Tom? Just keep filling that ego of yours.

    Well, gee, let’s see … Dr. Oz is (all hold your breath in awe, now) a DOCTOR and therefore must be infallible on matters of nutrition, even though doctors learn almost nothing about nutrition in medical school. So he must be right that saturated fat will kill you.

    But wait … many other (all hold your breath in awe, now) DOCTORS say it’s sugar and starch that will kill you and that saturated fat is harmless and perhaps even beneficial. Some have even ordered Fat Head in bulk to give to their patients.

    Boy, oh boy … people who are (all hold your breath in awe, now) DOCTORS and therefore above criticism disagree with each other about saturated fat. That means rather than examine the evidence and come to a conclusion about which doctors are wrong, I must keep my ego in check and declare that both views about saturated fat are correct.

    Thanks for reminding me of my place. Next time a doctor tries to put my mom on statins despite zero clinical evidence that statins benefit women, I’ll tell her to do whatever he says. Doctors should never be questioned by mere mortals.

    (Insert joke here … the punchline is: “No, that’s God. He just thinks he’s a doctor.)

    Reply
  5. Peggy Cihocki

    I can only say he deserves the award richly–both for the reasons he got it and for the reasons you said.

    Reply
  6. Diana

    Strangely, it was Dr. Oz that got me to switch to a low-carb diet. I never watch daytime TV, but I happened to have it on one day last August and he was talking about different diets for various body types. I know he shared some bologna, but I remember his demonstration about how fat will just burn off of you with a low-carb diet. I immediately cut the carbs (without doing any research) and the fat did start melting off. Took 7 months and your movie to convince my hubby to go low-carb.

    I am not defending Dr. Oz by any means. I’m thankful I saw his little demonstration with the mini blow torch, which changed my life. I’ve never watched his show since and don’t plan on it anytime in the future.

    If only he’d stop harping about the dangers of animals fats.

    Reply
  7. Anne Robertson

    I wish the so-called sceptics at the JREF were sceptical about scientific research, too. They seem to think that all scientists are inhumanly honest and never think to look at where the money is coming from to pay for all that research. I’ve become seriously disillusioned with the JREF, and most of the other so-called sceptics out there.

    Reply
  8. Sierra

    Mainly for the psychic rather than any of his “medical” or dietary advice. Shame.

    Just as an update…
    I have now been low carb for 5 days and my husband for 4. I have lost 2.5lbs mostly from the little tummy bulge I was getting which is now all but gone. I have better mood and energy and feel great. All of that sitting on my couch most of the day without any meaningful exercise at all (homework is a B**** sometimes).

    My husband has lost 4lbs while eating fast food lunches and probably more calories a day than before. Only ~16lbs to go! Oh, and the bacon grease doesn’t seem to be impeding blood flow anywhere Ms. vegan chef 😉

    Thank you so much for your research and taking the time and risk to make your film. I’m telling everyone about your movie, but it is hard to get people to see around the bs we have been fed. Most people start arguing BEFORE they watch your movie or check out the links, then so sure that they are right, they skip off on their merry way. I think this is the most funny on MyFitnessPal (which I have been using to monitor carbs). The vast majority of these people have lots of weight to lose, hence counting calories, yet they are still sure their way is right. I don’t know how you do it…

    I get it, though. When I was living on a low-fat vegetarian diet, I was convinced it was good for me. It took a long time to admit the results didn’t match the theory.

    Reply
  9. Galina L.

    I am not a admirer of Dr. Oz, but he is not 100% bad. It is good somebody gave him a piece of reality, unlike his audience full of silly screaming ladies.
    It is a time to establish something like Dr. Ancel Keys award for somebody who contributed the most for the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

    No, he’s not 100% bad. But I wish he’d stop talking about how “I have my hands in people’s chests every week operating on their hearts!” as if that somehow translates to knowing which foods cause heart disease. When I asked the surgeon who removed the bone spur from my shoulder why it developed in the first place, he was at least honest enough to say he had no idea.

    Reply
  10. SlightlyMine

    So now you think you’re smarter than doctors, eh Tom? Just keep filling that ego of yours.

    Well, gee, let’s see … Dr. Oz is (all hold your breath in awe, now) a DOCTOR and therefore must be infallible on matters of nutrition, even though doctors learn almost nothing about nutrition in medical school. So he must be right that saturated fat will kill you.

    But wait … many other (all hold your breath in awe, now) DOCTORS say it’s sugar and starch that will kill you and that saturated fat is harmless and perhaps even beneficial. Some have even ordered Fat Head in bulk to give to their patients.

    Boy, oh boy … people who are (all hold your breath in awe, now) DOCTORS and therefore above criticism disagree with each other about saturated fat. That means rather than examine the evidence and come to a conclusion about which doctors are wrong, I must keep my ego in check and declare that both views about saturated fat are correct.

    Thanks for reminding me of my place. Next time a doctor tries to put my mom on statins despite zero clinical evidence that statins benefit women, I’ll tell her to do whatever he says. Doctors should never be questioned by mere mortals.

    (Insert joke here … the punchline is: “No, that’s God. He just thinks he’s a doctor.)

    Reply
  11. Diana

    Strangely, it was Dr. Oz that got me to switch to a low-carb diet. I never watch daytime TV, but I happened to have it on one day last August and he was talking about different diets for various body types. I know he shared some bologna, but I remember his demonstration about how fat will just burn off of you with a low-carb diet. I immediately cut the carbs (without doing any research) and the fat did start melting off. Took 7 months and your movie to convince my hubby to go low-carb.

    I am not defending Dr. Oz by any means. I’m thankful I saw his little demonstration with the mini blow torch, which changed my life. I’ve never watched his show since and don’t plan on it anytime in the future.

    If only he’d stop harping about the dangers of animals fats.

    Reply
  12. Angel

    Tom, you may not be as smart as divine infallible doctors, but you are more skeptical, which is a far more meaningful attribute nowadays.

    I believe I got a lot smarter when I started thinking for myself instead of trusting “the experts.”

    After seeing all the nonsense that’s passed for nutrition advice for the past 40 years, I had to become skeptical.

    Reply
  13. kat

    Dr. Oz is a good looking guy and got his start from Oprah. That’s what he has going for him.
    He is against medical marijuana, so, I disagree with him on that.

    By the way – SlightlyMine, and all – in the wonderful USA, a doctor is GREAT to have around when you are hurt or need surgery, but, they have NO training in nutrition, prevention, or health. (health care should be called “sick care.”) If I am in a car crash, or break a leg, or need plastic surgery – hot dam, I love my doctor!

    But, sadly, if your “issue” can be solved by the Doctor telling you to “drink more water, eat a banana, and go for a 30 min walk every day,” there is NO money in that! so, the doc gives out prescriptions. most don’t even ASK if you are drinking water or what you are eating, or how are things at home? nada!!! Pharma is big business. if you think it’s a public service, think again, it’s about money.

    100,000+ people in America die each year due to doctor mistakes, most by prescription drugs that were prescribed by the doctor. My friend the nurse says that half the time, in the ER the doc doesn’t even know that the drug they ordered clashes with what the patient is already on. it’s a real problem there. should the nurse obey the doc, or confront him? she says, most just do what they are told. I think I’d rather have the nurse on my side than the doctor!
    anyway… thanks Tom. happy day, kat

    Even more annoying is the fact that some doctors — my mom’s, for example — still don’t attribute muscle pain and weakness to statins. I had to make that connection for her. I understand doctors aren’t educated (much) about nutrition, but you’d think they’d at least be aware of the side effects of the drugs they prescribe.

    Reply
  14. Galina L.

    I am not a admirer of Dr. Oz, but he is not 100% bad. It is good somebody gave him a piece of reality, unlike his audience full of silly screaming ladies.
    It is a time to establish something like Dr. Ancel Keys award for somebody who contributed the most for the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

    No, he’s not 100% bad. But I wish he’d stop talking about how “I have my hands in people’s chests every week operating on their hearts!” as if that somehow translates to knowing which foods cause heart disease. When I asked the surgeon who removed the bone spur from my shoulder why it developed in the first place, he was at least honest enough to say he had no idea.

    Reply
  15. Katy

    “[Dr. Oz] is against medical marijuana, so, I disagree with him on that.”

    From the show that just aired on medical marijuana, I came away with the opposite impression. He said he was against is for conditions for which there are ample medications, such as anxiety, but otherwise he seemed to understand a need for it for other conditions.

    When he starts in with the anti-saturated fat nonsense he only shows that he certainly doesn’t understand the difference between Crisco and bacon grease or chicken fat. Yes, he performs surgery on folks every day, yet I doubt that he knows what these patients were eating lo these many years to develop heart disease.

    Reply
  16. js290

    @Diana, I agree with you on this one. When the cameras are on, Oz is a showman and left the doctor at the operating room where there’s no cameras. There’s a lot of show, but the info is there. Someone will see a bit and make a choice for the better, like Diana did. Someone is going to see Oz’s segment with Taubes and make a better choice for themselves.

    There’s no benefit to Oz for coming out and denouncing the food pyramid. Even if he did, I don’t think it’s going to have the effect that some expect. For instance, a bit on Oz’s show may speak to someone more than a biochemical lecture on sugar by Dr. Lustig. It’s not realistic to expect everybody learn from first principles. You have to figure out everybody’s motivations. Some people will be motivated by Taubes’ books, by Fat Head, by various lectures on youtube, or by some kooky bit on Oz’s show.

    For those who took the red pill, they will keep finding better info. That’s what matters, and that’s where the effort should be placed. People are free to take the nutritional blue pill.

    Reply
  17. Angel

    Tom, you may not be as smart as divine infallible doctors, but you are more skeptical, which is a far more meaningful attribute nowadays.

    I believe I got a lot smarter when I started thinking for myself instead of trusting “the experts.”

    After seeing all the nonsense that’s passed for nutrition advice for the past 40 years, I had to become skeptical.

    Reply
  18. kat

    Dr. Oz is a good looking guy and got his start from Oprah. That’s what he has going for him.
    He is against medical marijuana, so, I disagree with him on that.

    By the way – SlightlyMine, and all – in the wonderful USA, a doctor is GREAT to have around when you are hurt or need surgery, but, they have NO training in nutrition, prevention, or health. (health care should be called “sick care.”) If I am in a car crash, or break a leg, or need plastic surgery – hot dam, I love my doctor!

    But, sadly, if your “issue” can be solved by the Doctor telling you to “drink more water, eat a banana, and go for a 30 min walk every day,” there is NO money in that! so, the doc gives out prescriptions. most don’t even ASK if you are drinking water or what you are eating, or how are things at home? nada!!! Pharma is big business. if you think it’s a public service, think again, it’s about money.

    100,000+ people in America die each year due to doctor mistakes, most by prescription drugs that were prescribed by the doctor. My friend the nurse says that half the time, in the ER the doc doesn’t even know that the drug they ordered clashes with what the patient is already on. it’s a real problem there. should the nurse obey the doc, or confront him? she says, most just do what they are told. I think I’d rather have the nurse on my side than the doctor!
    anyway… thanks Tom. happy day, kat

    Even more annoying is the fact that some doctors — my mom’s, for example — still don’t attribute muscle pain and weakness to statins. I had to make that connection for her. I understand doctors aren’t educated (much) about nutrition, but you’d think they’d at least be aware of the side effects of the drugs they prescribe.

    Reply
  19. Sean

    “So now you think you’re smarter than doctors, eh Tom? Just keep filling that ego of yours.”

    Yes, Tom, only licensed, accredited, actual, bonofided doctors should be allowed to fill their egos by hopping around on daytime television promoting faith healing, astrology and the lipid hypothesis.

    Until you get your MD, you are absolutely forbidden to do so. Not by the Bill of Rights, unfortunately, not yet at least, but by right-thinking people like me and SlightlyMoron who will hold you accountable.

    Also, I’m pretty sure mocking Dr Oz makes you a terrorist so I’m notifying Homeland Security.

    I’m hoping to fool them by wearing blue scrubs, giving the impression that I just came from a surgery — which would, of course, make me an expert on nutrition.

    Reply
  20. Katy

    “[Dr. Oz] is against medical marijuana, so, I disagree with him on that.”

    From the show that just aired on medical marijuana, I came away with the opposite impression. He said he was against is for conditions for which there are ample medications, such as anxiety, but otherwise he seemed to understand a need for it for other conditions.

    When he starts in with the anti-saturated fat nonsense he only shows that he certainly doesn’t understand the difference between Crisco and bacon grease or chicken fat. Yes, he performs surgery on folks every day, yet I doubt that he knows what these patients were eating lo these many years to develop heart disease.

    Reply
  21. js290

    @Diana, I agree with you on this one. When the cameras are on, Oz is a showman and left the doctor at the operating room where there’s no cameras. There’s a lot of show, but the info is there. Someone will see a bit and make a choice for the better, like Diana did. Someone is going to see Oz’s segment with Taubes and make a better choice for themselves.

    There’s no benefit to Oz for coming out and denouncing the food pyramid. Even if he did, I don’t think it’s going to have the effect that some expect. For instance, a bit on Oz’s show may speak to someone more than a biochemical lecture on sugar by Dr. Lustig. It’s not realistic to expect everybody learn from first principles. You have to figure out everybody’s motivations. Some people will be motivated by Taubes’ books, by Fat Head, by various lectures on youtube, or by some kooky bit on Oz’s show.

    For those who took the red pill, they will keep finding better info. That’s what matters, and that’s where the effort should be placed. People are free to take the nutritional blue pill.

    Reply
  22. Walter

    I was going to bring the “award” to your attention, but you beat me to it. The second time, here recently.

    http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-dr-oz-andrew-wakefield-james-randi-awards-20110401,0,3573991.story

    Did you see Egyptian mummies prove ancient people also had hardening of the arteries

    http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-mummies-heart-disease,0,5014594.story

    I think the Eades said in Protein Power or PPLP that ancient Egypt had the world’s first diabetes epidemic. Unfortunately, the article parots the same old health guidelines, since the ancient Egyptians supposedly ate lean meat than we do and still had arteriosclerosis, we should eat even leaner meat.

    As you say, this is what we are up against.

    They conveniently ignored the fact that it was the upper-class Egyptians who were mummified — the same class that enjoyed the sweet treats of the day.

    Reply
  23. Sean

    “So now you think you’re smarter than doctors, eh Tom? Just keep filling that ego of yours.”

    Yes, Tom, only licensed, accredited, actual, bonofided doctors should be allowed to fill their egos by hopping around on daytime television promoting faith healing, astrology and the lipid hypothesis.

    Until you get your MD, you are absolutely forbidden to do so. Not by the Bill of Rights, unfortunately, not yet at least, but by right-thinking people like me and SlightlyMoron who will hold you accountable.

    Also, I’m pretty sure mocking Dr Oz makes you a terrorist so I’m notifying Homeland Security.

    I’m hoping to fool them by wearing blue scrubs, giving the impression that I just came from a surgery — which would, of course, make me an expert on nutrition.

    Reply
  24. dlm

    I’m grateful for the information from you and Taubes and Eades et al that saturated fats are good for you and statins are bad for you. The information helps people like me and my husband tell doctors to take a hike with Lipitor and lowfat. My medical history has been unnecessary surgery, way too many drugs and now very poor health. If I had never had any access to ‘medicine’, I might be healthy.

    Isn’t Oz against saturated fat partly because his commercials are paid for by cereals? And I find him somewhat creepy looking — hasn’t he had eye surgery? If a surgeon with his arm in your open chest can tell what brought you there, can a butcher tell the same?

    That’s a chicken-or-egg question … does Oz promote low-fat foods because the cereal makers support him, or do they support him because they know he promotes low-fat foods? Can’t say. Whichever way the influence goes, he’s still wrong about saturated fat.

    Reply
  25. Walter

    I was going to bring the “award” to your attention, but you beat me to it. The second time, here recently.

    http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-dr-oz-andrew-wakefield-james-randi-awards-20110401,0,3573991.story

    Did you see Egyptian mummies prove ancient people also had hardening of the arteries

    http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-mummies-heart-disease,0,5014594.story

    I think the Eades said in Protein Power or PPLP that ancient Egypt had the world’s first diabetes epidemic. Unfortunately, the article parots the same old health guidelines, since the ancient Egyptians supposedly ate lean meat than we do and still had arteriosclerosis, we should eat even leaner meat.

    As you say, this is what we are up against.

    They conveniently ignored the fact that it was the upper-class Egyptians who were mummified — the same class that enjoyed the sweet treats of the day.

    Reply
  26. Mike

    There is no business like show business…. I’m not sure how Oz finds the time to be up to his elbows in chests …

    But that was before the Internet. Pure heaven for Charlatans.

    I suggest to anyone who cares to do two things – first read GCBC by Taubes and examine how he looks at ‘studies’ and research and mimic it. Second, anytime you read something out here, or in a book, ask for the research that backs it up.

    I dare say that most of the time it is either just an opinion, or the research does not actually support the conclusion.

    It pays to be a Skeptic. Back to my bacon now …

    Indeed, if you pay attention to all the “study says” headlines over a year, many of them will contradict each other. We owe it to ourselves to learn some basics on how studies are conducted and what the results mean — and don’t mean. That’s the topic of my next speech.

    Reply
  27. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Finally, an award Dr. Oz is deserving of! Many congrats to him on this one!

    In seriousness though, I’m yet to meet a doctor who recommends “healthy whole grains” and a low-fat diet who can scientifically explain away glutens, lectins, phytic acid and the effect on the insulin system. In fact, they usually fall back on their credentials as a doctor, and tell me (my background is in nutrition!) that I wouldn’t understand because i don’t have a medical degree…

    I’ve also had them tell me that my weight loss, thyroid improvement, skin improvement, etc due to a low-carb real food diet is “just a fluke” or an “unusual occurrence.” At least I have a midwife for this pregnancy who has some background in nutrition and is fine with me not eating grains or sugars and even let me waive the nasty glucose test and test my own blood sugar instead.

    I’d wager most doctors don’t know diddly about lectins and phytic acid. I had a conversation with a doctor (friend of a friend) at a dinner a couple of years ago and explained the effects of lectins when he asked why I don’t eat grains. He admitted he’d never heard anything about them.

    Reply
  28. dlm

    I’m grateful for the information from you and Taubes and Eades et al that saturated fats are good for you and statins are bad for you. The information helps people like me and my husband tell doctors to take a hike with Lipitor and lowfat. My medical history has been unnecessary surgery, way too many drugs and now very poor health. If I had never had any access to ‘medicine’, I might be healthy.

    Isn’t Oz against saturated fat partly because his commercials are paid for by cereals? And I find him somewhat creepy looking — hasn’t he had eye surgery? If a surgeon with his arm in your open chest can tell what brought you there, can a butcher tell the same?

    That’s a chicken-or-egg question … does Oz promote low-fat foods because the cereal makers support him, or do they support him because they know he promotes low-fat foods? Can’t say. Whichever way the influence goes, he’s still wrong about saturated fat.

    Reply
  29. LCNana

    I’ve just seen my brother die of pancreatic cancer, and had to suffer a few visits from the hospital nutritionalist to his bedside – “what flavour of Boost do you like best” was the main question. Have you actually read the label on that stuff? If my brother had not had cancer the hospital diet would have killed him. Before he started to really slide, the offerings at breakfast were cereal and skim milk, lunch was brown bread and egg salad, dinner was noodles with a sprinkle of “chicken” on top, a bun with Becel, with jello for dessert.

    The joke here is that he had been listed as a Type II diabetic!!!!!!! This was an old diagnosis from months before. They put him on their special diet (see above), and tested his blood several times a day for sugar. An even sadder joke: he’d lost 40 lbs as he got sicker and sicker – therefore he had tested normal for sugars and his blood pressure fixed itself. He NEVER had a high blood sugar reading – not ONCE. The day he died the nurse came around and started to prick his finger for the sugar test. It was all I could do not to grab her by the throat. When I suggested she forego the test she told me she’d have to ask the doctor!!!!

    One of the Nutritionists came to his bedside and noted that he’d lost 40 lbs in a month. Her question “I see you’ve lost a lot of weight. Have you been able to keep it off?”

    Dr. Oz, and ALL Nutritionalists should be filled with shame that they WILL NOT see that there is another side to what they preach. Shame, shame, shame.

    That is really sad.

    Reply
  30. Peggy Cihocki

    “I wish the so-called sceptics at the JREF were sceptical about scientific research, too.” For example? Just curious.

    Reply
  31. youMOOM

    Hey Tom,

    If carbs are so bad for you, how did this guy lose 20+ lbs, lower his cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels eating only potatoes? According to your theory, a carb rich, starchy food like potatoes should have caused his body to retain fat. In fact, potatoes are one of the top foods on the Glycemic Index, which means they should spike insulin more than any other food. Looks like your ‘insulin makes you fat’ theory has a few holes in it.

    http://www.20potatoesaday.com/

    Peter at Hyperlipid covered it far better in his post than I could in a reply:

    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2011/03/potatoes-and-weight-loss-1.html

    Bottom line is that for people who aren’t insulin-resistant, potatoes may be fine. Unfortunately, for those of who damaged our metabolisms with Captain Crunch and Coca-Cola, they’re not fine. One potato sends my blood sugar into the stratosphere and keeps it there for two hours or longer.

    Reply
  32. Kell Brigan

    Sorry, but JREF is stocked to the ceiling with true believers in the calorie theory. Their fat-bashing, including directly from Mr. R himself (I have the personal emails to prove it) is obsessive, hateful, and quite unscientific. Kinda like the lame-brained call the equally-lame-brained lame-brained.

    Reply
  33. Greg

    I agree tha Oz’s dietary advice is a big issue most critics don’t see. But let’s not let him off the hook for all the other nuttiness. He recently had John Edward, the formerly-successful TV host who made a living doing cold readings in front of a crowd of vulnerable people. Oz basically gave him his approval, which means Oz is saying its better for people to believe a fiction made up by this carnie than grieve naturally. Apparently on Oz’s show he told a man in the audience that his son who had been killed in an auto accident actually took his own life. So: scumbag. And you can’t get much less reality- and science-based than to say “there’s something to it” about some guy doing basic cold readings (someone here lost someone important in March…etc…check out the South Park “Biggest Douche In The Universe” episode for a funny/frustrating take on the issue and Edward in particular).

    And Oz seems to have done the same scummy editing tricks – check this out:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/kathleen_nordal_on_dr_oz_and_john_edward.php

    Penn & Teller did a great episode of their show Bull@#$%! in which they showed edited and unedited versions of people like Edwards dealing with the bereaved. In the unedited version, it was clearly asking questions to lead to the “correct” answers.

    Reply
  34. Mike

    There is no business like show business…. I’m not sure how Oz finds the time to be up to his elbows in chests …

    But that was before the Internet. Pure heaven for Charlatans.

    I suggest to anyone who cares to do two things – first read GCBC by Taubes and examine how he looks at ‘studies’ and research and mimic it. Second, anytime you read something out here, or in a book, ask for the research that backs it up.

    I dare say that most of the time it is either just an opinion, or the research does not actually support the conclusion.

    It pays to be a Skeptic. Back to my bacon now …

    Indeed, if you pay attention to all the “study says” headlines over a year, many of them will contradict each other. We owe it to ourselves to learn some basics on how studies are conducted and what the results mean — and don’t mean. That’s the topic of my next speech.

    Reply
  35. Anita

    Just saw your movie on Netflix and LOVED IT! My husband has gained about 20 pounds “dieting” over the past few years by eating 2 cups of Cheerios with nonfat milk for breakfast and an all fruit lunch. He cannot seem to lose the weight and I am going to have him watch your movie. I’ve known it’s too many carbs and now I have evidence.

    Regarding Dr. Oz, I almost fell off my chair that he even had Gary Taubes on the show so I have to give him that much. Gary seemed a bit cocky, but definitely held his ground.

    Wonderful info, Tom. Thank you for such an informative and fun movie!

    Unfortunately, Dr. Oz or his staff edited out some of Gary’s more salient points.

    Reply
  36. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Finally, an award Dr. Oz is deserving of! Many congrats to him on this one!

    In seriousness though, I’m yet to meet a doctor who recommends “healthy whole grains” and a low-fat diet who can scientifically explain away glutens, lectins, phytic acid and the effect on the insulin system. In fact, they usually fall back on their credentials as a doctor, and tell me (my background is in nutrition!) that I wouldn’t understand because i don’t have a medical degree…

    I’ve also had them tell me that my weight loss, thyroid improvement, skin improvement, etc due to a low-carb real food diet is “just a fluke” or an “unusual occurrence.” At least I have a midwife for this pregnancy who has some background in nutrition and is fine with me not eating grains or sugars and even let me waive the nasty glucose test and test my own blood sugar instead.

    I’d wager most doctors don’t know diddly about lectins and phytic acid. I had a conversation with a doctor (friend of a friend) at a dinner a couple of years ago and explained the effects of lectins when he asked why I don’t eat grains. He admitted he’d never heard anything about them.

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  37. Dave

    I find it hard to believe that Oz is only 50 years old! I thought he was 60+.

    Without knowing, I would’ve put him around my age, which is 52.

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  38. LCNana

    I’ve just seen my brother die of pancreatic cancer, and had to suffer a few visits from the hospital nutritionalist to his bedside – “what flavour of Boost do you like best” was the main question. Have you actually read the label on that stuff? If my brother had not had cancer the hospital diet would have killed him. Before he started to really slide, the offerings at breakfast were cereal and skim milk, lunch was brown bread and egg salad, dinner was noodles with a sprinkle of “chicken” on top, a bun with Becel, with jello for dessert.

    The joke here is that he had been listed as a Type II diabetic!!!!!!! This was an old diagnosis from months before. They put him on their special diet (see above), and tested his blood several times a day for sugar. An even sadder joke: he’d lost 40 lbs as he got sicker and sicker – therefore he had tested normal for sugars and his blood pressure fixed itself. He NEVER had a high blood sugar reading – not ONCE. The day he died the nurse came around and started to prick his finger for the sugar test. It was all I could do not to grab her by the throat. When I suggested she forego the test she told me she’d have to ask the doctor!!!!

    One of the Nutritionists came to his bedside and noted that he’d lost 40 lbs in a month. Her question “I see you’ve lost a lot of weight. Have you been able to keep it off?”

    Dr. Oz, and ALL Nutritionalists should be filled with shame that they WILL NOT see that there is another side to what they preach. Shame, shame, shame.

    That is really sad.

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  39. Peggy Cihocki

    “I wish the so-called sceptics at the JREF were sceptical about scientific research, too.” For example? Just curious.

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  40. youMOOM

    Hey Tom,

    If carbs are so bad for you, how did this guy lose 20+ lbs, lower his cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels eating only potatoes? According to your theory, a carb rich, starchy food like potatoes should have caused his body to retain fat. In fact, potatoes are one of the top foods on the Glycemic Index, which means they should spike insulin more than any other food. Looks like your ‘insulin makes you fat’ theory has a few holes in it.

    http://www.20potatoesaday.com/

    Peter at Hyperlipid covered it far better in his post than I could in a reply:

    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2011/03/potatoes-and-weight-loss-1.html

    Bottom line is that for people who aren’t insulin-resistant, potatoes may be fine. Unfortunately, for those of who damaged our metabolisms with Captain Crunch and Coca-Cola, they’re not fine. One potato sends my blood sugar into the stratosphere and keeps it there for two hours or longer.

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  41. Kell Brigan

    Sorry, but JREF is stocked to the ceiling with true believers in the calorie theory. Their fat-bashing, including directly from Mr. R himself (I have the personal emails to prove it) is obsessive, hateful, and quite unscientific. Kinda like the lame-brained call the equally-lame-brained lame-brained.

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  42. Stephen

    It was sad to see today’s Dr. Oz show. They are apparently considering lowering the requirements for people to have gastric lap bands inserted. The had 2 female “candidates” on the show who literally were convinced they needed them.

    It was nice to see Dr. Oz expose these ladies to two other women who had the surgery already. He showed them how drastically their diets changed after having these bands inserted into their bodies. What was surprising is the before and after diets of these ladies. They went from daily diets “LOADED” with carbohydrates (Fries, Potatoes, Potato Chips, Pasta, Rice, Tortillas, Nachos), to a daily diet consisting of what appeared to be 5 teaspoons of yogurt, a cup of broth and 5 teaspoons of pudding. It is frustrating when you see it right there, plain in sight the reason why they were fat!!!

    How in the world anyone could get any pleasure out of living with a diet like that, let alone proper nutrition, baffles me. What is shocking is the fact that Dr. Oz didn’t ask the same question of these guests. It frustrates me to see this nonsense being fed to the public.

    It is a sick vicious cycle of money making nonsense for the health industry. They had one of Dr. Oz’s Gastric Surgeon friends as a guest as well. He made it sound like a no big deal scenario to have this surgery done. He actually seemed anxious to put more of these things into people. How can you honestly trust a doctor like that. To me, a real doctor would try his hardest to avoid surgery for his patient. Just plain sick. This show just gives people bad ideas and turns it’s head on actual scientific facts that could be saving peoples lives.

    I had a good friend in Los Angeles who had gastric bypass at her doctor’s urging. She really regrets that decision. She’s been plagued by digestive issues ever since.

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  43. Greg

    I agree tha Oz’s dietary advice is a big issue most critics don’t see. But let’s not let him off the hook for all the other nuttiness. He recently had John Edward, the formerly-successful TV host who made a living doing cold readings in front of a crowd of vulnerable people. Oz basically gave him his approval, which means Oz is saying its better for people to believe a fiction made up by this carnie than grieve naturally. Apparently on Oz’s show he told a man in the audience that his son who had been killed in an auto accident actually took his own life. So: scumbag. And you can’t get much less reality- and science-based than to say “there’s something to it” about some guy doing basic cold readings (someone here lost someone important in March…etc…check out the South Park “Biggest Douche In The Universe” episode for a funny/frustrating take on the issue and Edward in particular).

    And Oz seems to have done the same scummy editing tricks – check this out:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/kathleen_nordal_on_dr_oz_and_john_edward.php

    Penn & Teller did a great episode of their show Bull@#$%! in which they showed edited and unedited versions of people like Edwards dealing with the bereaved. In the unedited version, it was clearly asking questions to lead to the “correct” answers.

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  44. Anita

    Just saw your movie on Netflix and LOVED IT! My husband has gained about 20 pounds “dieting” over the past few years by eating 2 cups of Cheerios with nonfat milk for breakfast and an all fruit lunch. He cannot seem to lose the weight and I am going to have him watch your movie. I’ve known it’s too many carbs and now I have evidence.

    Regarding Dr. Oz, I almost fell off my chair that he even had Gary Taubes on the show so I have to give him that much. Gary seemed a bit cocky, but definitely held his ground.

    Wonderful info, Tom. Thank you for such an informative and fun movie!

    Unfortunately, Dr. Oz or his staff edited out some of Gary’s more salient points.

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  45. Dave

    I find it hard to believe that Oz is only 50 years old! I thought he was 60+.

    Without knowing, I would’ve put him around my age, which is 52.

    Reply
  46. David H

    Just wondering… how can anyone claim humans are vegetarian if the caecum cannot break down the cell wall of cellulose, I wonder why so many paleo people cannot bring this up. Our gut can digest only a few kinds of fibers in limited amounts, and the caecum most apes have in their gut to digest fiber is now the almighty vestigial appendix which is pretty much good for bursting and not much else (To be fair, apperently it may have functions with immunity). Somebody should blog about it, I wonder why almost no one uses the fact that cellulose and most fibers are indigestible as an argument against humans being “natural herbivores” *cough*
    When my bio teacher told me we don’t ferment most fibers, it pretty much made sense we had to eat animals. So there, to claim a human is an herbivore is pretty much unscientific in anyway, Including Dr. Oz

    Lierre Keith covers that topic quite nicely in The Vegetarian Myth.

    Reply

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