More “confusion over clarity” from Dr. Oz in TIME

This time the title is Give Frozen Foods A Chance

Well, Dr. Oz has done it again. He’s back on the cover of TIME with a story that’s guaranteed to keep the consumers confused about food. But then, that’s exactly what makes food producers happy. His latest article appears in the 12-3-12 issue and I have provided a link below to the online article that you may not be able to view unless you’re a TIME customer.

December 3, 2012 Cover of TIME

So what’s the problem? From the looks of the cover, it looks like Dr. Oz is going to write about a truly health promoting diet—like the ones that Esselstyn, Ornish, McDougall, Fuhrman, and Barnard all use to reverse chronic diseases in their patients. But he doesn’t.

Mehmet and Lisa Oz; she must be the vegetarian in the family.

Ostensibly, the article was written to help people pick out the best values for their families; things like recommending that we give frozen or canned veggies, grains and legumes a chance. But then he proceeds to talk about all the other “good” foods in a healthy diet—things like beef, chicken, ice cream, olive oil, etc. From the article, a few highlights:

I live in a vegetarian household, so I simply don’t have the opportunity to eat a lot of meat at family meals. But I am not opposed to meats that are served in an appropriate portion size and are well prepared.

Any lean meats are generally fine as long as the serving size is correct–and that means 4 to 6 oz., roughly the size of your palm.

Those burgers your kids (and probably you) love can be fine if they’re lean and grilled, the fat is drained and you’re not burying them under cheese, bacon and high-fructose ketchup and then packing them into a bun the size of a catcher’s mitt.

An inside view of our “system” at work — the systematic torture of TEN BILLION animals a year in just the USA

Indeed, chicken is so lean and tasty it can actually redeem a lot of foods that are otherwise dietary bad news. I don’t have a problem with tacos, for example, if you do them right. A chicken taco is a better option than beef, and a fish taco is the best choice of all.

One great advantage to canning is that it does not affect protein content, making such foods as canned tuna, salmon and chicken excellent sources of nutrition. Canned salmon in particular is as nourishing as if you caught a fresh salmon that afternoon.

Ice cream should be in your life too. What’s more, it’s not even a bad or unhealthy food.For starters, the protein and calcium in ice cream are great. And some of the ingredients in better ice creams are good for you too, including eggs (yes, eggs, a terrific source of protein and B vitamins and perfectly O.K. if your cholesterol is in check)

As for seeking “value” for you and your family, when it comes to energy for your home, you might want to contact my friends at Texas Electricity Providers.

The Bottom Line. Just another example of “confusion over clarity” when it comes to what we should be eating. To be fair, Dr. Oz talks a great deal about eating lots of fruits and vegetables and even points out that he lives in a vegetarian household. I guess that means that his wife is a vegetarian, because he clearly isn’t.

TIME cover in September of 2011, when I blogged about a similar Oz article.

But, just as he did in his September 2011 TIME cover story about food, he provided much more confusion than clarity. I have provided my blog about his earlier article below, but will share one of my paragraphs with you here:

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 to their collective bad eating habits.

If you’re looking for clarity on what you should be eating; don’t waste your time or money reading the latest Dr. Oz article in TIME. Just read my 2011 blog shown below and maybe buy one or two of the items in the health kit that follows. —My 661st consecutive daily blog—

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

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

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

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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9 Responses to More “confusion over clarity” from Dr. Oz in TIME

  1. Linda says:

    Jim, thought you would be interested in this reaction to Dr. Oz’s TIME article.

  2. CJ says:

    Almost unbelievable the mainstream media misinformation today. Almost. Still, wait until Dr. McDougall gets a hold of him for the Diet Wars — one-two punch, KO! Great lecture from DJM on the ongoing diet battle topic:

  3. eric jeshiva says:

    Another debacle for TIME magazine. This is not exactly investigative journalism, but one man’s opinion. A man who knows better but for some reason will not come clean. He may be afraid of what happened to Oprah and doesn’t want to get sued. Clearly,he wants to remain popular and uncontroversial. He’s a sellout!! I blame Time magazine for allowing him to write this drivel. For goodness sake. pistachio ice cream is healthy??? He describes so many of those foods as healthy because they have protein. Really? I’m sure 100% of his patients (and readers), et more than enough protein. Why would you need to push foods with protein?? Not one of his patients (or readers) would even benefit!! What a waste of time to read this article!!

  4. Joanne Irwin says:

    Who’s, or better yet, what industry is tucked away in his pocket? Too many sell their soul, and unlike Barnard, Campbell, Esselstyn and McDougall et al, Oz may have given his to the highest bidder! So sad because he has the forum to make an authentic difference.

  5. Irene says:

    Jim, Please consider sending an abbreviated version of today’s blog as a letter to the editor of Time magazine refuting the misinformation in the Dr. Oz article. They probably won’t print it, but someone like you who has written a book on the subject would certainly be considered credible in countering what was printed.

  6. This is maddening! Dr Oz had on Doctors Campbell and Esselstyn and raved about Forks Over Knives just a year ago. He knows better. He must have meat-industry, or olive oil sponsors to his show. Sad…. THANKS for the information. Beth Perera

  7. Shelley says:

    Dr. Oz missed an opportunity to focus on the bigger picture of how our diets have gone off the rails – via very frequent and high consumption of fats, particularly animal foods- and how they might be brought back into balance through high-starch, low-fat, plant-based diets. Luckily for us, Dr. McDougall is crystal clear on this point.

    Yes – the Time article was quite a load of poppycock from “celebrity doctor” Oz.

    Oz’s TV producers probably put a word in his ear suggesting that nothing should offend show advertisers or potential advertisers. Or else.

    He’s a celebrity who’s more interested in self promotion than health & this leads to mixed messages that confuse a gullible public.
    It’s Dr Oz’s recommendation for a “tamed” SAD that strikes a nerve.

  8. Linda says:

    I subscribe to TIME, so I did read the what-to-eat article he contributed last year. When this year’s food issue came, and I saw the cover, my first thought was, oh great – more bad information from Dr. Oz that people will believe because he’s famous. I still haven’t read it and your post confirms that I will be at least as frustrated by the article this year as I was last year. I cynically believe that he is protecting his heart surgery “business” and that of his heart surgeon colleagues by not advocating a whole foods plant diet. He’s also making sure he doesn’t anger the sponsors of his TV show. Not an honorable man, in my opinion. I think it’s sad and so unfortunate that Oprah, who meant well at the time, ever introduced him to the American public.

  9. billkranker1 says:


    It almost seems like Dr.Oz is bending to the commercial pressures of the beef and meat industry. I find it hard to believe that he is that ignorant as to proper health. Oh, I almost forgot – he is a medical doctor! That may explain some of it. He may need to go into the archives of his mentor Oprah’s old show and rewatch the episode with the Mad Cowboy -Howard Lyman and the public shunning of beef that landed them in court those many years ago. Then again maybe he did look at the past!!!

    In opder to be truly great you need to take a hard stand for what is right. Dr. Oz aparently is not at that point yet. Between his wife and Oprah he does not have the exuse of not knowing what the truth is. He just needs to gather the courage.


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