Dr Oz promoting Astrology

June 10, 2018

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, Astrology

Dr Oz is up to his usual nonsense (opens new window), promoting an author who claims that astrology can predict your health. Rebecca Gordon believes that the Vitruvian Man may hold the key to how the signs of the zodiac map to parts of our body and indicate health issues, and has a new book: "Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac As Your Wellness Guide".

Apparently the zodiac lives within us. So neck pain is related to Taurus and Capricorn is connected to sore knees. For Virgo, my star sign, there are connections to the abdomen and digestion, and "purity of purpose".

Of course, there's no merit to astrology. Rigorous tests have been completed, such as Carlson's Experiment where 28 astrologers were given over 100 psychological profiles of adults along with anonymised birth charts for each of them. None of the astrologers were able to match the people to their births beyond what would be expected by chance.

Other tests have involved reading people several astrological readings and getting them to guess which one matches their birth sign. Again, people perform no better than chance.

Dr Oz is no stranger to weird and wonderful ideas (opens new window), but I'm constantly surprised at the depths he's willing to go to promote theories that seem unbelievably implausible.

To make matters worse, president Trump will be promoting Dr Mehmet Oz to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, which is a little worrying. Trump's no stranger to making what look like very bad staffing decisions, and this one is no exception. Dr Oz is well known in the US, having risen from the Oprah show to having his own show. On his show, the Dr Oz Show, he's promoted so many nonsense treatments that he's been told off by the FTC and summoned to talk in front of a senate sub-committee.

The problem is so bad that research by Health News Reviews found that almost 80% of statements on the show did not align with evidence based guidelines. These included telling people not to eat apples and to remove their amalgam fillings, and promoting reparative therapy, a totally discredited therapy for "curing" gayness.

It also turns out that most products being talked about in the show were related to adverts shown during the program's breaks.