Congress targets diet supplements … and Dr. Oz

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DENVER -- With millions of people looking to lose weight fast, it's no wonder the market is flooded with all sorts of supplements. But lawmakers in Washington say it's time to crack down on some companies that outright lie about weight loss benefits.

The Federal Trade Commission sued the Florida company that makes a supplement called Pure Green Coffee back in May.

Tuesday, Senator Clair McCaskill, who heads the Consumer Protection Committee, took it one step further by targeting surgeon turned TV host Dr. Oz.

The celebrity doctor touts the benefits of many diet supplements on his show. McCaskill said to Oz, “I don't get why you need to say this stuff cause you know it's not true, so why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show?"  Oz replied, “I actually do personally believe in the items I talk about in the show.”

It’s Dr. Oz’s influence that concerns lawmakers.

Dr. Oz insists that he doesn't endorse any products or receive money for mentioning them on his show.  Still, lawmakers call the whole diet supplement game a "real crisis in consumer protection.”

Medical experts say when it comes to what you see in the drug store, there's simply no quick fix when it comes to getting in shape and staying healthy.

Dr. Matthew Metz of Rose Medical Center says it’s important to choose a healthy lifestyle, which is the best way to maintain a desired weight barring any medical conditions that require surgery.

He adds, “(obesity) is a huge public health issue and we really need to focus as human beings to work on our health and our diet and our clean living.”

There are many who stand by their supplements and say there's no doubt they work.  It's a situation where the perception of effectiveness is truly in the eye of the beholder. Anyone interested in taking supplements should always get the advice of their doctor first.


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