When Mehmet Oz – the disgraced celebrity doctor from the award-winning Doctor Oz Show - was named by President Trump as a White House health advisor, it came as a bit of a shock.
Throughout Oz's "successful" - or, at the very least, lucrative - career, the celebrity doctor has peddled a whole bunch of pseudoscientific and baseless health advice, featuring miracle weight loss cures and vaccination fear mongering.
As many predicted, an advisory position at the White House has done nothing to quell the doctor's penchant for magical thinking and scientific quackery.
Just this week, Dr Oz tweeted and then promptly deleted a post suggesting that astrology can teach us something about our physical health.
Now is probably a good time to remind all of you that astrology is not a science… at all.
There is absolutely no compelling evidence to suggest that the positions of celestial objects can explain or even predict what is going to happen to individual people here on Earth.
It's just not realistic, and it's seriously concerning coming from a health advisor primarily tasked with developing health policies for children.
While Dr Oz's tweet may have been deleted in the end, that does not mean it was a mistake. His website is littered with similar nonsense.
According to a section of his website, called "What your astrological sign can tell you about your health," for instance, those with the Pisces horoscope "represent the balance between the spiritual and physical and when this balance is off, pain in the feet may develop."
Yeah, okay, thanks.
Plus, in another tweet that was not deleted for some inexplicable reason, Dr Oz shared an old video of his show where an astrologist reads health horoscopes.
Some say that the season of your birth may have an influence on your health. Today, an astrologist is here to share your health horoscope. Plus, Todd Fisher opens up about losing his sister #CarrieFisher and his mother #DebbieReynolds. You don't want to miss it. pic.twitter.com/zo2shFF5U5— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) June 6, 2018
You might be thinking: oh well, astrology is harmless.
Sure, it can be. But not all unsubstantiated health advice is innocuous, and this speaks to a larger issue - namely, how ill-equipped Dr Oz is to provide evidence-based health advice to the White House.
A cursory glance at the man's track record reveals just how much terrible, terrible health advice he truly gives.
A 2014 study found that of the 479 health recommendations given on The Dr Oz Show, only half of them were supported by any actual evidence.
"Anyone who followed the advice provided would be doing so on the basis of a trust in the host or guest rather than through a balanced explanation of benefits, harms, and costs," the authors of the study wrote.
At one point, the claims that Dr Oz was making on his show were deemed so harmful and egregious, he was asked to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee about his false and deceptive advertising.
Not exactly the sort of person you want advising the government on health policy.
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