Thursday, February 2

Dr. Oz... A Rant

This post is brought to you by my local gym.

At the gym the other day we randomly found several girls populating the treadmills where we usually only run into guys pumping iron. As a result, instead of the usual mindless news loop, Dr. Oz filled the tv.

Since we both bring our headphones anyway, it was no big deal. But, of course, while I listened to my audio book I occasionally read the closed captioning. And I was appalled.

Completely ignoring his vapid discussion on taking vitamins, I couldn't stop all the "For the Love of God!" and "Are You Serious?" sputtering I did when he got to talking about "secret allergies" to wheat and milk. According to him and his guest, upwards of 60% of Americans have these "secret allergies" and you can lose up to 30 pounds of allergy-induced bloat just by avoiding them!

Really? Seriously?

No distinctions between raw/ pro-biotic dairy like unpasteurized, un-homogenized milk or kefir and the highly processed stuff on the grocery store shelf. No distinction between soaked and sourdough-ed bread made from freshly ground wheat and the white processed fluff that is a standard sandwich loaf.

No warnings of the eighteen other names or indicators on a label that an item contains gluten, milk, or casein. Not a peep about soy which is (in every available form) completely indigestible and hormonal suicide.  

You just estimated that 60% of the population has a serious food allergy and you've given them only misdirection and half truth with which to approach it? And what about the dramatic three-day series Dr. Oz was about to run with 99 Diet Foods you think are good for you but really aren't? Granted it fills up three days worth of programming with gasps and edge-of-one's-seat anticipation, but you could cover the basics in ten seconds: diet food is bad for you. All of it.

I don't watch Dr. Oz's show, and I don't know a lot about him. He could be a perfectly wonderful guy doing the best he knows how. But given that the current generations of Americans (children and parents alike) know less about food than any previous generation, half-truths and drama nutrition like this are terribly dangerous and  counter productive.

Certainly Dr. Oz is not the only one culpable of such nonsense, and people truly invested in good nutrition will seek out the truth. All the same, it is both sad and frustrating that millions of Americans are so uninformed (or misinformed) as to take this kind of discussion as truth and let it shape their habits.

I know that dwelling on giant-scale messes like this one only lead to helplessness and anger, so (now that I've ranted) and I am choosing to let go and return with fresh resolve to my chosen solution.  

I will fight this battle one person at a time. 

I cannot change what is on tv and I cannot shake an entire nation into acting sensibly. But I can learn and know the truth. I can take care of my family. I can model healthy habits and share delicious recipes, resources and tricks of the trade to make real nutrition and healthy living accessible to those I meet.

How do you to respond to blatantly false information in news and pseudo-news media?

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