Trump appoints celebrity physician Dr. Oz to health council: 5 concerns

President Donald Trump announced his intent May 4 to appoint a number of individuals — including controversial healthcare celebrity Mehmet Oz, MD — to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition for a two year term.

The president also plans to appoint New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and former bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk on the 1970s and 1980s TV show "The Incredible Hulk," to the council, which is designed to promote "regular physical activity and good nutrition," according to Vox Media.

The administration is concerned about the decline in youth sports participation in recent years, yet it is selecting Dr. Oz, who has mislead the public on health for years with his popular TV show.

Here are five ways Dr. Oz makes a troubling pick, according to Vox.  

1. Before he launched his TV show nearly 10 years ago, Dr. Oz was a researcher and cardiothoracic surgeon. However, in a number of his show's episodes, he has preached on behalf of homeopathy, failed diet supplements and discredited GMO studies, Vox notes.

2. His show has given vaccine deniers and pseudoscience promoters — like Vani Hari, better known as "Food Babe" — a venue to share their ideas.

3. In 2014, a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection called on Dr. Oz to justify his advocacy of weight loss products that don't actually work. "The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called 'miracles,'" Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said at the time, according to Vox.

4. The Federal Trade Commision announced several large settlements against guests brought onto the Dr. Oz Show. For example, in 2015, a modern-day snake oil salesmen named Lindsey Duncan, who refers to himself as a world leader in superfoods, herbal medicine and natural health, appeared on an episode in which Dr. Oz praised his knowledge of weight-loss aids. Mr. Duncan holds only "alleged degrees" in naturopathy from a non-accredited, distance-learning college "named on the Higher Education Coordination Board's list of 'Institutions Whose Degrees Are Illegal to Use in Texas,'" Vox reports separately.

5. In April 2015, a group of professors, scientists and physicians argued Dr. Oz's show was so misleading his role as a medical school professor at Columbia University was unacceptable.

Dr. Oz, however, expressed excitement over the appointment. He tweeted, "I've been supporting children's health programs with @HealthCorps and appreciate the need to improve lifestyle opportunities for our youth.  Serving on @FitnessGov offers a platform to amplify the best practices shown to work across our school systems."

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