As you know (unless you’ve been living under a rock with no access to cable for the past year), Oprah Winfrey has recently retired from her daily talk show after 25 years on the air. I was an off-and-on viewer for decades, like many of you. But her departure may leave some doctors rejoicing. Why? Because, according to physician Dr. Jen Gunter:
“Oprah is the Supreme Empress of medical woo, disseminating the greatest combination of medical mumbo jumbo and snake oil the world has ever seen.” Continue reading →
Arlene Weintraub is a senior health writer at BusinessWeek, writing on both science and the business of health. She has won a whack of journalism awards, including from the Association of Health Care Journalists, but it’s her book, Selling the Fountain of Youth, that caught my eye. In particular, she questions the “expert advice” of celebrities pushing questionable anti-aging advice. And few celebs are better at flogging questionable anti-aging advice than Suzanne Somers. Continue reading →
Live Your Best Life Ever! Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness Positive Energy! Erase Wrinkles! Banish Obesity!
Yes, dear little nags-in-training, you can apparently learn how to perform all these miracles just by watching Oprah every day on TV.
In June, Newsweek magazine ran a revealing Oprah overview by Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert called “Why Health Advice on Oprah Could Make You Sick”.
Their observations focused on Oprah guests whose quasi-medical theories – proven or not – the influential talk show host has decided to endorse. One such celebrity guest is of course the age-denying Suzanne Somers, weighing in on the debate about hormone replacement for menopausal women. The Newsweek piece said:
“Outside Oprah’s world, there isn’t a raging debate about replacing hormones. Women just don’t need as much once they get past their childbearing years. Unless a woman has significant discomfort from hot flashes—and most women don’t—there is little reason to prescribe them. Most women don’t use them. Hormone therapy can increase a woman’s risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and cancer.
And despite Somers’ claim that her specially made, non-FDA-approved bio-identicals are ‘natural’ and safer, they are actually synthetic, just like conventional hormones and FDA-approved bio-identicals from pharmacies. There are no conclusive clinical studies showing hers are less risky. That’s why endocrinologists advise that women take the smallest dose that alleviates symptoms, and use them only as long as they’re needed.” Continue reading →