We all dream of a miracle pill to help us lose weight. It’s so much easier than worrying about proper nutrition and regular exercise. No wonder then when America’s favorite TV doctor, Dr. Oz, told us that the miracle pill does exist, we all ran as fast as we could to buy it. Months later, Dr. Oz is facing congressional hearings and grilling by U.S. senators about the promotion of weight loss supplements that do not work.
“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true,” said Missouri Senator, Claire McCaskill, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. “The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles.’ ” The three products in question: raspberry ketones, green coffee beans and Garcinia Cambogia.
McCaskill said the viewers were misled by the “false hope” and that the Dr. Oz show “perpetuated these scams.” Dr. Oz defended himself saying he believes the products he talks about on his show and that he has even given them to his family.
The congressional hearing questioned the way Dr. Oz introduced these weight loss supplements. “Thanks to brand new scientific research, I can tell you about a revolutionary fat buster,” Dr. Oz said during one of his shows, with the words “No Exercise. No Diet. No Effort” flashing on the screen behind him. “It’s called Garcinia Cambogia.” “You may think magic is make-believe but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight loss cure for every body type–it’s green coffee extract,” he said in another show. “I’ve got the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. It’s raspberry ketones,” he proclaimed in yet another broadcast.
As a result of those shows, multiple companies were marketing the supplements with Dr. Oz’ photo and quotes, leading people to believe the pills were approved by the famous doctor. Dr. Oz said he doesn’t allow his image to be used in ads and he doesn’t receive any money from the sold products. He testified that he should not be held responsible for how those companies sold their products and assured the senators he is now very careful with the words he chooses for his show.
Jason Kozma, LA-based personal trainer, says no weight loss supplement could substitute hard work when it comes to working out and eating right. “Just because someone on TV says a supplement can make you skinny, it doesn’t mean it works, nor does it mean it’s effective,” said Kozma. He pointed out that many weight loss products claim to be “natural” where in fact they are laden with questionable ingredients or can potentially interact with other supplements and medications.
“You have to be smart,” said Kozma. He admits that it’s not an easy task because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements. But he cautions: “Don’t believe everything you see on TV, take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.”
Kozma adds that “There is no pill, powder, seed, wrap, sauna or injection that does the work for you – the only way to lose bodyfat and the shape the body is with proper nutrition and exercise. Period.”