Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Quick Fix

On Tuesday, Dr. Mehmet Oz was grilled by several senators regarding bogus products and ads on his syndicated talk show.   Since he started appearing Oprah Winfrey’s show a decade ago Dr. Mehmet Oz has had a history of being overly enthusiastic about some of the alternative and nontraditional treatments he’s highlighted, resulting in countless scammers cashing in on the questionable weight-loss treatments he’s described as “miracles”.  Dr. Oz admitted that his “cheerleading” for products that he admits are just “crutches” has caused trouble for himself and for the Federal Trade Commission.

Dr. Mehmet Oz
I watch Dr. Oz on occasion and in some instances his advice regarding, health, nutrition, and fitness appear to be helpful.  At other times I have been concerned on the frequency he discusses “quick” and “miracle” methods to weight loss whether it is a supplement or a form of eating.  What these methods feed on is the public’s urge to have a quick fix and not wanting to commit to the process to achieve health and wellness goals. 

Consumers spent $2.4 billion on weight loss services and products last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. 

The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which represents supplement makers, and other groups said they supported self-regulation. They also support the FTC's seven point gut check that the agency says people should use as a guide in assessing ads for products that look too good to be true.

FTC advises if the ad claims the product...
  • Causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for month or more without dieting or exercise;
  • Causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats;
  • Causes permanent weight loss even after the consumer stops using the product;
  •  Safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks;
  • Causes substantial weight loss for all users; or
  • Causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin.
Any suggestion to losing weight that does not include a consistent well balanced diet you should not consider.  We all have our personal preferences of eating habits.  There are pros and cons to any one you adopt.  I am not a proponent of neglecting any major food group from your diet in the name of health and losing weight or taking a pill or supplement that will magically propel you to your goals.

Utilize the resources at your disposal properly.  Your primary care physician’s role is to keep you notified of your current health status and any necessary adjustments to your lifestyle to benefit your long-term health.   Professionals such as personal trainers and/or nutritionist design eating plans and exercise regiments to assist you in reaching your goals and maintaining your health.  Health and Wellness professionals should not be suggesting a quick fix.  I’ve stated it many times it takes hard work and dedication and consistency.  There are not any shortcuts. 

The advances in science should be used to compliment the process, not substitute.  Before beginning the new “hot” eating program or exercise routine that promises results in a short period of time consult a professional.  Our jobs are to give you structure, guidance, and accountability during the process not sell a short cut to get there.