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Are the Claims on The Dr. Oz Show Real?

The Dr. Oz Show, or simply Oz, is a daytime TV talk show featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz. Each episode has segments on wellness, health, celebrity interviews, and even tackles topics that are considered taboo. Oprah Winfrey created the show in 2009 after a successful run on with a limited series on Discovery Health. But are all the information presented in the show real? 

“The Dr. Oz Show” deals with health and wellness. But upon further investigation, it was said that less than half of the medical claims on the show were only backed up by “some” evidence.

Who is Dr. Oz?

Mehmet Cengiz Ozn was born on June 11, 1960, in Cleveland, Ohio. Oz was born to Turkish immigrants and was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, where his father worked as a thoracic surgeon. Oz earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business in 1986.

Oz served in the Turkish army the same year to maintain his dual citizenship. He completed his residency in general surgery from 1986 to 1990 at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. By 1993, Oz completed his cardiothoracic surgery residency in the same hospital.

He then became the attending surgeon at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He was a big advocate of alternative medicine and eventually incorporated non-Western medical treatments in his practice. He included procedures like acupuncture, hypnosis, and meditation.

By 2001, Oz became the director of the hospital’s complementary medicine program and became a professor of surgery at Columbia University. He published a book with Michael F. Roizen in 2005. YOU: The Owner’s Manual became so popular that it landed the doctor several guest appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he earned the nickname America’s Doctor.

Oz soon published several other books to create a series to his first one, YOU: On a Diet and YOU: The Smart Patient in 2006, YOU: Staying Young in 2007, YOU: Being Beautiful in 2008, and YOU: Having a Baby in 2009.

The books’ popularity combined with the doctor’s numerous television appearances led to a daily radio talk show in 2008. The following year, Oz began hosting his television series, Dr. Oz Show. (Source: Britannica)

In addition to his successful TV career, he founded HealthCorps, a nonprofit organization focused on obesity and other health problems specifically affecting American youth.

In 2021, the doctor announced that he was running as a Republican for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania. His announcement led Sony Pictures to cancel his long-running television show in compliance with the Federal Communication Commission’s equal-time rules. (Source: CNBC)

The Dr. Oz Show

The Dr. Oz Show was a one-hour show that provided information on various health topics and preventive medicine. It first aired in 2009 and had one of the highest daytime television ratings for nine years. The show won numerous Emmy Awards and was co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. (Source: Biography)

Oz found himself in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection after endorsing weight loss products in his show. In the same year, a study in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal studied forty random episodes of the Dr. Oz Show. (Source: Business Insider)

To their surprise, the study discovered that the show’s recommendations were only based on evidence just 46% of the time, clearly meaning that most of his recommendations were not backed up by medical evidence.

The discovery led ten prominent physicians to send letters to Columbia University, stating that Oz’s position in the faculty is unacceptable despite him being perceived as a scientific authority by millions of Americans. (Source: NCBI)

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