The Validity Of Dr. Oz's "Magic" Green Coffee Bean Extract Just Went From "Hmm" To "Nope, Nada"
Are you familiar with Dr. Mehmet Oz? You'd probably know him simply as Dr. Oz, the TV host who was grilled by a Senate panel for promoting dubious miracle weight loss supplements. Well, Wednesday was a pretty bad day for him — the sole study supporting Dr. Oz's "magic" coffee beans was retracted, leaving the product he publicly praised without a shred of evidence in its favor. The study, conducted in India at the behest of Texas-based Applied Food Sciences, was called "hopelessly flawed" by the Federal Trade Commission back in early September, after the company was forced to pay out a $3.5 million settlement over its "baseless" claims.
It's yet another embarrassing blow to Dr. Oz's credibility, at a time he really doesn't need it — he'd already been under public scrutiny in recent months, following that aforementioned, awkward appearance on Capitol Hill in June. He was in hot water over his embrace of the alleged weight-loss supplement, extracted from green coffee beans, which he'd referred to on-air as a "magic weight loss cure for every body type."
Oz was ultimately forced to admit to a perturbed Senator Claire McCaskill that the green coffee beans lacked "scientific muster." Which is basically the last thing you want to admit to when people are sensing credibility issues.
Ultimately, the entire experience could serve as a valuable lesson in the dangers of sensationalist health and nutrition coverage. Especially as pertains to advice coming from people who're ostensibly acting as both daytime TV hosts and medical professionals.
Oz's show clearly leans on the credibility his MD affords him, despite his promotion of numerous scientifically unsound concepts. He's done segments on his show promoting homeopathy before, for example, which is about as fraudulent and scientifically discredited as anything, and has even had a so-called psychic medium appear on his show.
In short, Oz was never exactly hiding his willingness to make wild, utterly unscientific claims to his viewers, it was just a matter of whether people took notice. And thankfully, some people did — med student Benjamin Mozer, for example, who's mounted an effort to bring Dr. Oz's on-air claims under scrutiny by the Medical Society of the State of New York, through which he's licensed.
Also of note, HBO host John Oliver played a role in raising people's awareness of Oz's credibility issues, and those in the world of nutritional supplements writ large, in a hilarious segment of his show Last Week Tonight back in June.
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