Hello All, I decided not to lug my laptop on vacation, as it is hard to type with a cocktail in one hand and a guidebook in the other. Thus, I am leaving you with a terrific segment I recently saw on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. John Oliver, you may recall, was a reporter on the Daily Show and has left to do his own. Good stuff, in that it is an ideal combination of actual news and biting commentary. Plus he swears at work, so I can relate.
This particular segment is about the raging controversy over everyone’s favorite doctor, Dr. Oz, and his questionable marketing of questionable dietary supplements. Oz uses words like “miraculous” and “magical” to describe supplements that have no scientific basis for their claims and sometimes fail even to include the ingredients listed on the label. Pharma and biotech executives everywhere are jealous.
Dr. Oz recently got called to task in front of Congress for his assertive marketing of these products which, of course, have no FDA oversight until after they start killing people. Check out this statistic from Oliver’s segment: when a bill was introduced to put more regulatory oversight in place for supplements, Congress received more mail from constituents than was received in relation to the Vietnam war. Really. Wow. Americans love their vitamins, especially in Flintstones gummy bear form. Give me diet pills or give me death, or at least a good pair of Spanx!
The John Oliver piece, in addition to making Oz eat some of his words (hopefully that does not blow his diet!), really points out the weird and wacky and way concerning world of supplements and provides some damn good humor along the way. Oh, and there’s swearing, so if you are sensitive, don’t watch it.
I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the story, because I am immature, starts around 12 minutes into the piece, where Dr. Oz talks about his need to use “flowery language” to engage TV viewers. John Oliver remarks that Dr. Oz’s motivation to hock these products must be due to how bored he is talking about poop with Cameron Diaz. Hilarious.
Anyway, worth watching for the 16 minutes or so and a a key topic in healthcare, as nearly 70% of Americans admit to using supplements and spend over $25 billion a year for the privilege. Pretty interesting since American’s balk at spending $10 on a copay when they are actually sick. Anyway, enjoy the show!