Dr. Oz was wonderful when he was on the Oprah show. Dr. Phil was wonderful when he was on the Oprah show, but both of their shows have degraded the very thing that made them so terrific when seen once a week … their information was fresh and delivered in such a charismatic way that we all looked forward to their segments and they didn’t have to settle for any story less than life-changing.
Unfortunately, when you have to fill an hour, five days a week, week after week, the information gets really stale, really fast. I’m sorry, but you can only talk about poop once and make it fascinating. What then? Showmanship begins to take the place of good medicine. In Dr. Phil’s case his show quickly succumbed to a Jerry Springer-esque peep show atmosphere. Dr. Oz on the other hand, chose to rely on hype and ploys to make you think that this next best thing is better than the last one and the one before that.
It’s pretty sad when an apparently well-respected physician tells a United States Senate Panel,
“If the only message I gave was to eat less and move more,
which is the most important thing people need to do,
we wouldn’t be very effectively tackling this challenge,
because viewers know these steps and they still struggle.
So we search for tools and crutches for short-term support
so people can jump-start their programs.”
And in another attempt to defend his choices, “I would rather have a conversation about these materials on my stage than in back alleys.” Seriously? When was the last time any of you had a discussion about a ‘miracle diet pill’ in a back alley? Fewer people would take any of these miracle products if they didn’t know about them from Dr. Oz himself.
Even with the explosion of junk diet pills as a result of his show, the biggest danger from magic diet pills (or any pills for that matter) has come from pharmaceutical companies pushing badly vetted prescription drugs.
In an article today, titled Celebrity Turns a Good Doctor into a Snake Oil Pitchman, Dr. Manny Alvarez said, in reference to his possibly being jealous of Dr. Oz’s success, “… I care too much about the truth of medicine, so if I were to have a show, it would probably last two episodes.” Exactly!
What is the answer? How about actually telling the audience what is in their best interests? Quit ‘jump-starting’ things badly and tell people the truth. It’s our just-give-me-a-pill-for-it culture, spear-headed by pharmaceutical and supplement companies out to make the most money possible, that’s responsible for people needing to get that quick fix whether it’s a virus that needs to run its course, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes or losing ten pounds: Just give me a pill for it.
Dr. Oz has the platform to actually make a difference but instead he’s making money for himself and for charlatans that sell the junk he pushes.
If he would start working with people to actually help them get healthy his ratings might go down, but imagine if he had regular challenges with real people learning how to change their diet? Imagine if he took some of that money and had several hundred health coaches working with people on how to make changes work in their daily lives … That would be change worth taking to Capitol Hill!
Whether it’s weight loss or better health, there is no magic pill. What is there? Simple changes over time. It works.
I’ll tell you how to jump start your weight loss: Go for a walk. Fix yourself a green smoothie. Add in fabulous veggies and fresh fruit. Eat clean and follow Michael Pollan’s advice, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And if you want to stay on track by adding in things that will support your goals, hire a Certified Health Coach who can simplify healthy lifestyle changes.™
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices™