Oz takes “confusion over clarity” to a new level – TIME

The Oz Diet. No more myths. No more fads. What you should eat — and why.

Leading off with a title like that, you’d expect to see some much-needed CLARITY on this crucial topic — but Dr. Oz’s cover article could not  have been more confusing. It was almost like the people at Time told him to write something good about all the bad foods, make the article as confusing as possible and do your part to support the magazine’s many toxic drug products advertised in the September 12 “Special Nutrition Issue.”

"Uncovering the myths about food" by Dr. Oz caught my eye immediatey

My score for the article: Confusion beats Clarity 35-0 on the first Saturday of the college football season. How so? 35 is the number of paragraphs adding to the “confusion” about this crucial topic — vs. none for adding to the “clarity.”

When my personal copy of TIME appeared in my mail slot yesterday, I was delighted to see all the food on the cover and knew that, one way or another, there would be some great fodder for blogging. And the cover story by Dr. Oz caught my eye immediately.

Before opening the magazine, I was foolishly thinking that Dr. Oz may have decided to jump on the Gupta-Clinton bandwagon and start getting real clear about what we should be doing to promote our health and prevent disease. Wrong.

After the CNN airing of the fabulous “Last Heart Attack” documentary for the past two weekends, I was thinking that Dr. Oz may have finally decided to get back in the ball game with distinguished men of integrity like Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the two MD’s that President Clinton turned to when his life was on the line — and the stars of the CNN special.

Dr. Oz juggles his food, which of course includes the all-important "protein" that is so important to him.

While Oz may actually think that he is helping promote health with his TV show and his various articles in TIME (his second cover story this summer); in my opinion he is more a part of the problem than a part of the solution. After watching my defending national champion Auburn Tigers snatch a miraculous victory from the jaws of defeat over Utah State, I read Oz’s entire article carefully.

Reading all thirty five paragraphs, I kept thinking that surely at least one would provide some clarity. Of course, if there had been just one, then it would’ve just added to the confusion, since the readers still wouldn’t know the difference and would just choose to follow the advice of whichever of those other 34 paragraphs best suited their collective bad eating habits.

So where did the phrase “confusion over clarity” originate? It was provided by Dr. T. Colin Campbell in a powerful paragraph in his book, The China Study. Here’s what we had to say about that paragraph in Chapter 8 of our book: This is a story of confusion that develops when an enormously complicated and interconnected group of organizations in a free market environment has zero financial incentive to promote the highest possible level of health. Here is Dr. Campbell’s powerful summary from his book:

Want clarity? Read this book. Published in January of 2005, it has consistently ranked in the top 100 books on Amazon -- proving that the world wants CLARITY over Confusion.

The entire system—government, science, medicine, industry and media—promotes profits over health, technology over food and confusion over clarity. Most, but not all, of the confusion about nutrition is created in legal, fully disclosed ways and is disseminated by unsuspecting, well-intentioned people, whether they are researchers, politicians or journalists. The most damaging aspect of the system is not sensational, nor is it likely to create much of a stir upon its discovery. It is a silent enemy that few people see and understand.

Back to the Oz article. TIME managing editor Richard Stengel leads off the “Special Nutrition Issue” with a few paragraphs entitled “Separating Fact from Fiction.” Praising Dr. Oz and his nutritional wisdom as if he were some kind of savior, he states that since he appeared on the Oz Show with him a few years ago that…

“Ever since then, I’ve been interested in not only how Oz eats (he’s always got a pocketful of almonds, and you can see his daily diet on page 55) but also in how he regards what the rest of us consume. For him, food is both fuel and medicine, and in his enlightening cover story, he separates fact from fiction when it comes to diet.”

Richard Stengel, Managing Editor of TIME

He mentions “what Oz eats,” a diet-style that is illustrated on page 55. Interestingly, there is a graphic on that page entitled “The Doctor Will Feed You Now. Oz’s Daily Menu.” Pictured are a total of fifteen foods, all of which appear to be whole plants — with the exception of salmon and yogurt.”

While the entire article is total confusion, it looks like Oz himself may be eating a very healthy diet — probably 3-Leaf or better in our 4-Leaf Program scoring system (over 60% of his calories from whole plants.) So why doesn’t he get REAL CLEAR in the article about exactly what he eats and why? Think how many lives would be saved if he told the world why over 60% of his own calories are derived from whole, plant-based foods. Instead he focuses on confusion in his article and comes up way short on clarity.

Sadly, that kind of clarity would not be good for the commercial success of the magazine or his own Oz Show. That’s because it wouldn’t help sell the products of its sponsors, like LOVAZA — with a two-page ad for another toxic drug from GlaxoSmithKline — appearing right in the middle of the Oz article on pages 53-54. In fact, the entire magazine is filled with drug ads, all of which devote about 75% of the printed space to the endless list of warnings and hazards of actually taking the drug.

Want to see one of his confusing paragraphs? Here it is; for your reading pleasure, appearing on page 50 of the article, under the heading Up Is Down,  where the good doctor explains “what you should eat and why:”

Want to get healthy? then forget about diet soda and low-fat foods. Instead, tuck into some eggs, whole milk, salt, fat, nuts, wine, chocolate and coffee. It’s true. Despite conventional wisdom, all of those foods and many more can be beneficial to your body. But overindulge in them, and they can be as problematic as you’ve always been led to believe.

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

In my opinion, his entire confusing cover story is not likely to help anyone become healthier. And, in the game of promoting health with food, one is either part of the problem or part of the solution; and sadly, Dr. Oz is with the former.

Meanwhile, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn are both a powerful part of the solution, consistently delivering the ultimate clarity in four words — EAT MORE WHOLE PLANTS.

Those four simple words could transform the health of the entire Western world and shave two trillion dollars off the cost of health care in just the United States. But they won’t sell very many products and that’s why the “system” described above by Dr. Campbell, will never bring you the clarity that you deserve. Although Dr. Sanjay Gupta just might be emerging as the first exception to that rule. On that note, you will enjoy tomorrow’s blog:

Gupta over Oz — Proving that we want CLARITY over confusion

Leveraging the simple, yet powerful concept of maximizing the percent of your calories from whole plant foods -- still in nature's package

In closing, you may enjoy reading a few of my earlier posts related to the “confusion over clarity” topic:

The post that follows this one: Gupta over Oz — Proving that we want CLARITY over confusion

Lack of clarity from the likes of Dr. Andrew Weil…

Oz shares colon story; “cancer screening $$ business” gets bigger

Dr. Oz Show — focusing on plant-based, whole foods (4-29-11)

Dr. Oz – back to the same old fad diets… (one week later)

Want more clarity, click on our 4-Leaf image here. For the other 34 paragraphs of the Oz article in the current issue of Time, I have provided a link below my name for your convenience. Unfortunately, you will need to subscribe to the online TIME in order to view the entire article.


If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

The Oz Diet – TIME.

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

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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1 Response to Oz takes “confusion over clarity” to a new level – TIME

  1. maule5662h says:

    Jim – Wow and thanks! You lasered in on the huge dis-service done by TIME and DR. Oz.!! Here is my e-mail LETTER to TIME (letters@time.com), that I also posted on the Dr. Oz TV Show website (http://www.doctoroz.com/contact):
    The Oz Diet

    Dr. Oz makes this too complicated and is wrong in many respects. Much better “optimal nutrition for human health” guidance is available from Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Dean Ornish, RD Jeff Novick, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Hans Diehl, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Their consensus science/evidence/results-based diet is a plant-based, whole-foods diet that minimizes/eliminates all animal products and processed vegetable oils. This diet also has huge benefits for the environment, world hunger, and cruelty to animals.
    TIME and Oz will not get away unscathed.
    I did point this out to them:

    Dr. Oz knows and promotes the plant-based optimal human nutrition —
    see his recent TV show on the new movie/DVD “Forks Over Knives.”

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