Research now officially shows that Dr. Oz is frequently full of it

A lot of people today get what they consider to be sound medical advice from TV programs like “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors,” which have average daily audiences of 2.9 million and 2.3 million, respectively, according to IFLScience. But how much of the information shared by these television personalities is leaving us with […]

A lot of people today get what they consider to be sound medical advice from TV programs like “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors,” which have average daily audiences of 2.9 million and 2.3 million, respectively, according to IFLScience. But how much of the information shared by these television personalities is leaving us with a less-informed public? Finally, some researchers decided to break it down and look at the numbers.

Christina Korownyk of the University of Alberta’s Department of Family Medicine led the research, and the paper was published in The BMJ.

Korownyk’s team recorded over 70 episodes each of “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors,” and randomly selected 40 of each to analyze for accuracy and integrity of claims. The shows were recorded in 2013, spanning from January to May. Recording the shows allowed the researchers to create an accurate transcript of the claims that were actually released to the public. On average, each show contained three or four topics, with four or five medical recommendations given for each. If the hosts themselves did not provide the advice, it was most likely given by an approved guest on the show.

Advice presented on the shows were looked at by the team of researchers to eliminate any personal bias by physicians co-authoring the study. Turns out, the results don’t look so great for celebrity docs – only about 54% of the info shared with the public was supported by peer-reviewed evidence.

When looking at the shows individually, there was evidence to support 46% of the claims made on the “Dr. Oz Show.” Approximately 15% of the claims made on the show were contrary to what has been reported in scientific literature. There was no evidence to support or reject 49% of the claims made on the show. “The Doctors” had slightly better results, with 63% of the claims supported by scientific evidence. About 14% of the claims on the show are contradicted by evidence, and there is no evidence for or against 24% of the show’s claims.

Basically, what it comes down to is people can watch these shows for entertainment purposes, and some of the advice they get wouldn’t be harmful anyway. But for the major medical stuff or extreme diet advice, definitely talk to your own doctor before doing anything.