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Dr. Oz scolded at hearing on weight loss scams

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm •  Published: June 17, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from Congress, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz on Tuesday offered to help "drain the swamp" of unscrupulous marketers using his name to peddle so-called miracle pills and cure-alls to millions of Americans desperate to lose weight.

Oz appeared before the Senate's consumer protection panel and was scolded by Chairman Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for claims he made about weight-loss aids on his TV show, "The Dr. Oz Show."

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, acknowledged that his language about green coffee and other supplements has been "flowery" and promised to publish a list of specific products he thinks can help America shed pounds and get healthy — beyond eating less and moving more. On his show, he never endorsed specific companies or brands but more generally praised some health supplements as fat busters.

McCaskill took Oz to task for a 2012 show in which he proclaimed that green coffee bean extract was a "magic weight loss cure for every body type."

"I get that you do a lot of good on your show," McCaskill told Oz, but "I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true."

Oz insisted he believes in the supplements he talks about on his show as short-term crutches and even has his family try them. He said his job on the show is to be a "cheerleader" for his audience, one who offers hope even if that means looking to alternative healing traditions and any evidence that might support them.

But Oz did agree that there's no long-term miracle pill out there without diet and exercise.

Within weeks of Oz's comments about green coffee — which refers to the unroasted seeds or beans of coffee — a Florida-based operation began marketing a dietary supplement called Pure Green Coffee, with claims that the chlorogenic acid found in the beans could help people lose 17 pounds and cut body fat by 16 percent in 22 weeks.

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