Dr. Oz – back to the same old fad diets…

Now first and foremost in the entertainment business

On 4-29-2011, I excitedly reported on a Dr. Oz Show segment that featured the new movie Forks Over Knives along with the movie’s primary stars — Dr. Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Popper and Rip Esselstyn, author of the Engine 2 Diet. In that show, Dr. Oz told his viewers how to take charge of their health and lose weight effortlessly as a convenient by-product.

Five days later on 5-2-11, his show was the polar opposite in terms of providing value for his audience — this week, he featured the Dukan Diet (another dangerous “Atkins” copy-cat) that encourages people to eat a lot of animal protein. Very disappointing, indeed — but not that surprising. In fact, after writing a highly complimentary post on last week’s show, I included this word of caution at the end:

My question is this: Where does the Dr. Oz Show go from here? He featured a diet-style on Wednesday’s show that has the power to end most disease in this country. So what does he do on Thursday – or next week – as a follow-up? Does he just go back to the endless discussions of a zillion medical problems? Or does he get real serious about the “big picture” root cause of 80% of our medical problems?

The May 2 show provided me with the answer to that question. Sadly, it was almost like the powerful, life-saving message from last week’s show was completely forgotten. There was only one reminder of the wisdom that was shared with his audience last week — and that wisdom was delivered by my friend Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live and a recent endorser of my book. The show featured an “expert weight-loss” panel of three that included two MD’s and one nutritionist. All were dressed in identical white “doctor” jackets.

My friend, Dr. Joel Fuhrman spoke on the Dr. Oz Show about promoting health with a whole foods, plant-based diet rich in complex carbohydrates. With a goal of vibrant health, weight-loss is just a convenient, effortless, and permanent by-product.

Of the three experts, Dr. Furhman was the only one who even mentioned health. As an enlightened physician who has enjoyed better than a 90% success rate in reversing type 2 diabetes and heart disease with a whole foods, plant-based diet, it almost lacked dignity for him to be sitting on such a silly panel.

Forced to limit most of his air time to direct responses to questions from Dr. Oz, Joel only got one chance to say how he really felt about the Dukan Diet. That chance came toward the end of the segment when the experts were asked to score the diet on a scale of one to ten.

After the first MD gave the diet an “8” after explaining that she almost gave it a “10,” Joel put a big smile on my face when he scored the diet at a “1,” saying that he would’ve scored it lower but the “1” was the lowest possible score according to the instructions from Dr. Oz. Then Joel talked briefly about his reasons — with his primary emphasis being on the health of the person considering the diet.

Upon seeing him turn that card around with the “1” on it, I actually cheered out loud. And I felt proud of him for telling the crowd the cold hard facts about dangerous, unsustainable fad diets such as the Dukan. I also felt even more proud to have his written endorsement on my book:

The same standard diet-style, rich in processed foods and animal products, and low in produce, that places people at high risk of heart attacks and cancers, is also rapidly destroying our environment.  “Healthy Eating — Healthy World” reports on critical information you must learn to help ourselves and our planet.

— Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

After the lead segment on the Dukan Diet, the show moved on to an almost “carnival like” examination of constipation. Ironically, after spending twenty minutes on a diet-style that is almost guaranteed to promote constipation, the show follows that up with a segment on what to do about it. More confusion.

J. Morris Hicks -- The "big picture guy" striving to eliminate confusion by promoting simplicity, integrity, consistency, sustainability and clarity.

Bottom Line.  These kinds of mixed signals are exactly what is wrong with our out-of-control cost of health care in the western world. Confusion rules the day. One day, a highly popular medical doctor like Dr. Oz features a powerful health-promoting diet-style and the next week he’s spreading the word about a fad diet that will continue to confuse his audience. What exactly does he stand for?

Let’s face it, Dr. Oz is in the entertainment business. While he may actually mean well, his show is just part of our huge “system” that ensures that confusion will continue to prevail. When people are confused, they will simply conclude that they will just eat what they want — and our cost of health care will continue to rise while an ever growing slice of the population will succumb to the “food driven” chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Until enough leaders understand the “big picture” regarding the staggering global impact of our toxic western diet and begin to promote the remarkable simplicity of the natural diet for our species — confusion will continue to prevail. The good news is that the truth is beginning to spread as it gains traction with the likes of Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey and is featured in powerful movies like Forks Over Knives.

Just yesterday, a former Fortune 100 CEO agreed to write an endorsement for my book. He and his wife have been reading about the subject for a few years and are now following my daily blog. Another recent endorsement has come from best-selling lifestyle author, Alexandra Stoddard, who has sold millions of books. With this kind of access to the mainstream, I am confident that our grassroots movement will continue to gather momentum.

A link to my review of last week’s Dr. Oz show. Dr. Oz Show — focusing on plant-based, whole foods

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, Board of Directors…

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Dr. Oz – back to the same old fad diets…

  1. Mitzi says:

    As long as people are off balance and confused, they make good “consumers”, always buying into the next fad in hopes that it will work. If they figure out what really works and do it, they’ll turn off the T.V. to go biking to the farmer’s market. They won’t buy all the drugs and products sponsoring the show. The fad diet-promoting industry would collapse. The medical industry would shrink dramatically. Even the charitable organizations and government bodies sponsoring research would find their budgets shrinking as they were left investigating rare genetic problems. In a culture in which perpetual growth in income and profitability is expected, this cannot happen. So the “diet of the week” is advocated, and it takes a great deal of discernment to pick out the signal from the noise.

  2. RICK says:

    I was excited last week when I saw Forks Over Knives on Dr. Oz. However, in twenty minutes that it was featured the audience was exposed to five experts and about twenty tips.

    The following episode featured another way of eating with three out of four experts (including Dr. Oz) recommending a self admitted yo-yo diet. At least Dr. Fuhrman got some air time with his signature book mentioned.

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