• And now: The shocking, never-before revealed secrets about Dr. Oz, Prevention Magazine and Casey Kasem

    by Debra DeAngelo

    So, I was all ready to write about Dr. Oz, and how I can’t decide if I love him or hate him, and right when I thought I just couldn’t stomach one more skin care segment from some B-list celebrity, he does a special on ovarian cancer that’s actually informative, and I’m teetering toward “love” again.

    But only slightly.

    It’s about 51 percent love, 49 percent hate, so Dr. Oz, don’t pat yourself on the back too vigorously just yet. Just one lame-o beauty secrets with Erin Moran segment will reverse that ratio faster than you can say “On today’s show, my never-before-revealed shocking secret about how your pancreas is killing you!”

    Oh, if only I had a dollar for each of Dr. Oz’s “never-before-revealed” secrets, I could afford all these supplements I’m taking that I can’t live without. No, literally. I could drop dead tomorrow if not for the conjugated linoleic acid and raspberry ketones and L-carnitine Dr. Oz told me about. You see, that’s the salient point about The Dr. Oz Show: There’s something lurking in your body, poised to kill you, but thankfully, there’s a supplement for that.

    Take raspberry ketones. Dr. Oz said they’d melt fat away, and demonstrated by dipping balloons into a chemical soup, and they shriveled right up. So, I decided to give them a try.

    I trotted on down to Vitamin World for Dr. Oz’s latest never-before-revealed secret, and got the last bottle of raspberry ketones. Before, they just gathered dust on the shelf. Once Dr. Oz featured them, the sales clerk told me, they sold out and were back-ordered for weeks.

    Yes, he has that kind of power. He’s the Alan Greenspan of hypochondriacs. By the time he says “jump,” we’re already mid-air.

    (Funny little side note: Want to make your doctor’s eye twitch? Just say, “Well, Dr. OZ says…”)

    Anyway, the raspberry ketones didn’t melt anything except money. I actually gained five pounds after taking them, so I doubt I’ll buy more. Which is fine, because I have a list of 10 other never-before-revealed supplements that I need to purchase, and without delay, because without them, I could drop dead tomorrow.

    Fear of death. That’s really the underlying lure of Dr. Oz’s pitch, and it’s aimed at a very specific audience — women over 40. Once women start careening toward midlife, we get the message very quickly that our bodies are landmines of medical hazards. Once our hormones start to falter, we’re prompted to leap into action to prevent our bodies from aging in a normal, natural way. “Anything but aging” becomes our mantra, and we’ll do and swallow anything to avoid the hot flashes and crow’s feet and saddlebags.

    And then you get sucked into that first Dr. Oz show, and discover that crow’s feet are the least of your concerns. Ladies, did you know that your sad, tired post-menopausal uterus could just collapse and fall right through your vagina and poke out the opening like Yertle the Turtle? It’s true. And thank you, Dr. Oz, for giving me one more thing to dread about my body. I haven’t done a single jumping jack since you did that feature.

    The dread fear of all the new and improved ways your body can kill you is what keeps women tuning in. It’s a reality soap opera taking place inside your own skin. You must watch Dr. Oz every day, lest you miss the Hidden Dangers Lurking In Your Toothpaste! or the Top Five Foods That Can Stop Your Heart! or the Never Before Revealed Secrets About Deadly Cheese!

    Oh. My. God. Living causes death! I never dreamed that my uvula could swell up from a sudden allergic reaction to gluten in my salad dressing and choke me to death! Thank you Dr. Oz for enlightening me, because I never dreamed that uvular asphyxiation could take me out on the spot!

    But, you say 1,000 milligrams of powdered Chinese kiwi seeds will prevent this?


    Of course, the Dr. Oz show isn’t all about “living causes death” anxiety. That’s just the first half of the show: Stay tuned for a secret kitchen cabinet beauty regimen with Greta Van Susteren!

    See, the first half of Dr. Oz’s show makes you terrified that you’re going to die, and the second half makes you want to kill yourself.

    And that’s not the only pattern I’ve discovered. Nearly every Dr. Oz teaser touts a “secret” or something “shocking” to get your attention, and there’s often some sort of “belly-blasting” feature. It’s that cursed “belly-blasting” phrase that clued me in. Hmmmm. Where have I heard – and hated — that before? Ah yes – Prevention Magazine! Which I stopped reading decades ago when I realized that the template for that magazine is simple: Your body is deadly, your body is imperfect, and your hips, belly and thighs are to be despised unless they’re as firm and tight as a skinned cat.

    It’s all clear to me now: Dr. Oz is a walking, talking Prevention Magazine, complete with cheesy guests, and fashion and beauty tips that only a former nun could love. And, despite the fact that I kicked the Prevention Magazine habit years ago, I can’t quite stop watching Dr. Oz.

    I’m groaning through most of it, mind you. But I can’t quite stop.

    Because I might miss the never-before-revealed shocking secret of sudden death from adrenal gland collapse, and how a never-before-seen powder made from the mildew of Sri Lankan elderberries could save my life!

    In true Dr. Oz fashion, I must close with my own never-before-revealed shocking secret: Dr. Oz is Casey Kasem’s unfrozen cloned brother. I’m sure of it. Just close your eyes and listen. You can almost hear him segue into this week’s Top Ten Hits. Want to really freak yourself out? Compare photos.


    Almost as shocking as the Top Ten Ways Your Lip Gloss is Killing You!

    Thank God there’s a supplement for that.

    • Debra, I only saw Dr. Oz on Oprah back in the day and even then I was not a believer. I have not watched his show but, as you describe it I am glad I don’t. I am not a big supplement person and even though I don’t welcome death, I also don’t worry about it . I take only those pills recommended by my team of my own doctors and so far so good. Just had a physical last week and my blood work was fabulous so something is working and I believe the combination of bad genes (heart disease) and some good pills help me survive the normal process of aging and my genetic predisposition to heart disease. So back to Dr. Oz -he doesn’t scare me enough to watch his show.

    • This is a great article Deborah! I am sadly disappointed in Dr. Oz, too. I loved watching him back in the Oprah days, but, like Dr. Phil, he became a “brand” and sold out. An yes, “FEAR” is how every show keeps us tuned in. It’s such bullshit, it’s what’s wrong with this country, and somehow you just expect certain people, like Dr. Oz, to rise above that and do an authentic show. Oh well.

      • Judy N

      • June 24, 2012 at 10:26 am
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      I love this! I, too, tried to buy raspberry ketones and was told by a clerk in my health food store, a very thin young man, that they didn’t do any good. He sold me something else that I keep forgetting to take. But Dr. O appeals to my supplement-loving soul. My mother subscribed to a Prevention-like magazine until she was almost 102. So, you see, it’s in my blood.

    • Madge – I think you are just robustly blessed! So much energy!

      Hollye – AGREED. He sold out and has become a brand. And he keeps people hooked with fear of what’s going on in your own body and pretty much EVERYTHING. But the lame-o beauty and fashion secrets make me want to scream.

      Judy – He informs us of even MORE stuff to throw money at. I like to try supplements. So far, I give the raspberty ketones an F.

    • Debra, you are reading my mind this week! Every time I see ads for the upcoming Dr. Oz show, it makes me cringe. I used to really like him but it seems all he does lately is focus on how NOT to age, as if aging is a bad thing and we can somehow overcome it. I know we all want to be healthy and fit, but yes, he has become a fear-monger and I do NOT like how he makes women feel like it’s not ok to look their age!! Let alone feel it! Thank you for voicing your thoughts on him!

      • Gary

      • June 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm
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      So true.

      I can’t tell you how many unknown supplements and other things I’ve been forced to ingest compliments of the Great and Powerful Oz. Whenever my girlfriend watches him, I’m treated like a lab rat. I’ve had chia seeds shoved down my gullet, pills that are supposed to increase my metabolism, reduce my fat, improve my heart… whatever.

      And yes. Every supplement the guy mentions is instantly sold out at Whole-Foods, which forces a nationwide scavenger hunt for the pill du jour.

      • Ken Welton

      • June 27, 2012 at 11:42 am
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      So true! You’ve hit the Dr. Oz nail on the head.

      • Ana

      • June 28, 2012 at 5:55 am
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      This was SO good to read and you hit the nail right on the head indeed.

      There is a game called MARRY/F*CK/KILL, you list a celeb you would do each with. I would say Oz.. Oz.. Oz! Like Dorothy in… Return to OZ! *GASP* Coincidence? I think not.

      Deborah, more please.

      • Ana

      • June 28, 2012 at 5:56 am
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      • Jesse

      • June 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm
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      So funny! I don’t watch that crap! However, I really hate being sold a bill of goods for my every creaky, saggy, less limber part. It’s nothing beer and a long sleeve shirt can’t get me though! Love this! J

      • Joyce

      • August 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm
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      All of my thoughts – in black and white! I, too, have been “Sucked” into purchasing his so-called secret, must-have pills and concoctions! The only product on the show thus far that he has touted on the show, that works and I love, is the Sudden Change Under eye Serum. It doesn’t take away the lines and bags under your eyes but it does hide them well for a few hours. Thanks for posting such an accurate, well written piece.

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