Dr Oz - Dr Roizen - YOU ON A DIET

back to healthread                               back to diet page  (Update 04/30/2016)

Dr Mehmet Oz is a cardiologist.  Dr Michael Roizen is well known for his "real age" computations on the web.  In this book, made popular because it was Oprah's "diet du jour" for a short while, Oz and Roizen combine to present us with - are you ready for this - "the Ultimate Weight Loss solution".  Wait, I thought Dr Phil already provided us with this. As I looked it over, it seemed nothing real new and basically a collection of pop science which I have seen in the media and in the many books I've read.  Lately, Oprah seems into having Bob Greene on her show with his NEWEST diet, so that might suggest that Dr Oz's diet is no longer her "diet du jour".

Dr Oz' diet is explained pretty fully on the Oprah site.  Dr Roizen explained the diet in detail on a show which aired on PBS called "You on a Diet". 

Dr Oz seems to stay away from explaining how the digestive tract works.  Dr Roizen tells us quite a bit about how the digestive system works. Trouble is, many of his "facts" are the opposite of what Anatomy and Physiology books tell us and that was rather concerning to me as I asked the question "Which is correct?"

For example, Dr Roizen told his audience that roughage in the diet, slows down the passage of food and chyme in the large bowel and thus makes you feel full and forces the gut to produce "satiety hormones".  My understanding is, it's the opposite - roughage quickens up the passage of feces in the colon thus preventing food from fermenting or clinging to the sides etc.

Then Dr ROIZEN told us that GERD was caused by being too fat - true this is a common error but one wishes Dr R would be more correct in his facts.  Most cases of GERD are caused by a hiatal hernia which prevents the stomach from emptying - this can happen in either fat or slim folks.  The type of GERD seen in folks who may or may not be overweight can be caused by making poor food choices.  Thus we see many folks, fat and slim who eat too much uh, non nutritious food taking the OTC acid blockers.

GERD, Dr Roizen went on, can cause an inflammation of the esophagus (this is true) and from that you can get esophageal cancer.  Well, this is more than a small exaggeration - only less than 25 percent of people with GERD get Barrett's esophagus (inflammation of the esophagus) and of that percentage, less than 5 percent get esophageal cancer.


An organ in the abdomen called the "Omentum" is important in both the docs' presentations.

Dr Oz correctly identified the Omentum as located close to the small bowel but Dr Roizen, intimated that the Omentum was the general thing which stored fat and could be anywhere in the body.

Dr Oz stated on the Oprah show that >>>>>The Omentum is the fat organ connected to your stomach that's only purpose is to catch and store fat. When the fat is stored in your stomach, your body has easy access to it. The fat then creates an inflammatory process that irritates your arteries and puts you at risk for blocked arteries.<<<<


To the left you see Dr Oz and Oprah holding examples of healthy and unhealthy Omentums - Oprah has the healthy one.  (maybe that's where the word "tummy" came from??)


The definition of "Omentum" which I found on the web is as follows:

The Omentum is an apronlike double fold of fatty membrane that hangs down in front of the intestines. It contains blood vessels, nerves, lymph vessels and lymph nodes. It acts as a storage for fat and also may limit the spread of infection in the abdominal cavity.

definition on Medical Net et al


Notice doesn't CAUSE inflammation but MAY LIMIT the spread of infection... Again Dr Roizen had managed to state "facts" which are opposite of what the anatomy books say!

Following appear to be some of the main points in the book, YOU ON A DIET - the information from Dr Roizen was taken from the seminar I watched on PBS - the information from Dr Oz was taken from one of his appearances on the Oprah show:

  • Calories:
    • DR OZ ---reduce daily intake calories by no more than 100 calories a day
    • DR ROIZEN --- doesn't talk about calories but promises rather impressive and QUICK weight loss in a few weeks if you follow his 4 steps which include walking 30 minutes daily and dumping (the bad food from) your refrigerator
  • Measuring Weight Loss
    • DR OZ and DR ROIZEN agree on this one ---measure your waist - women's waists are supposed to be 32 inches...men's waists no more than 40 inches.... (NOTE: for a middle age woman 32 inches is an impossible goal for most of us
    • Dump the scale?
      • Dr Oz says don't use the scale at all
      • Dr Roizen said the scale is a nice affirmation of progress and those slim successes he paraded at the seminar were classified by weight
    • Risks of one's waist being too large - are the usual - diabetes, hypertension (NOTE: a recent study found that the risk of diabetes was MUCH greater (50 percent more) in those who had dieted than in those who stayed obese.... hmmmm)
  • Types of Food
    • Drs Oz and Roizen say "cut the white foods i.e. white grains, sugar etc"
    • They also both say to avoid trans fat, high fruitose corn syrup and saturated fat (NOTE: saturated fat has been un-demonized in the latest studies)
    • Dr Roizen tells us to "automate it" meaning eat the same foods daily (this I find works well for me)
  • Exercise
    • Dr Oz: exercise 1 hour a week - can be 20 minutes 3 times a week or 1 hour once a week.  You should also lift weights once a week but that can be something like lifting your toddler up. You should also stretch but what you learned in High School will suffice.
    • Dr Roizen: people should walk 30 minutes daily and also do the "YOUWORKOUT" a few times a week. The beginner's one they demoed at the seminar includes push-ups (for upper body resistance), one or two yoga poses and some calisthenics. Dr Roizen stated there is a more advanced "YOUWORKOUT" also.  The YOUWORKOUT is designed to include resistance, and stretching and calisthenics and takes about 20 minutes complete.  This is the workout which is included in the book, YOU ON A DIET
  • Does fidgeting burn calories?
    • Dr Oz said that it does (some say it can burn as much as 1000 calories a day
    • Dr Roizen did not mention this in the seminar at all
  • Macrophages (the big guns of the immune system) in the belly fat
    • Both Docs agree with the latest theory that since belly fat contains concentrations of macrophages this proves that there is constant inflammation going on.
    • However - according to the PIG study and others, these macrophages found in bodyfat could actually be immuno protective. For example in pigs, the greater amount of bodyfat protects them from getting sick in dirty places.
    • Bottom line, no one knows whether the macrophages found in belly fat are good or bad but those advocating the REMOVAL of all fat would naturally assume they are bad. :)
    • Recently scientists in Russia took fat cells from rats, modified them slightly and saw that they killed cancer cells.  If that is so for humans, perhaps this explains why fat people have 40 percent LESS cancer than people at "normal weight" (ref: Gaesser: BIG FAT LIES, CA, 2002) and oncologists tell us that fat people tend to survive cancer and chemo better than slimmer folks.
  • Omega III and VI fat is good for you
    • Dr Oz didn't say any more than eat it
    • Dr Roizen told us that eating something with Omega III fats in it an hour before dinner will kill our appetites somewhat
  • Eat the white - discard the yolk of an egg
    • Both doctors agree on this one - something we did in the 1990's when it was thought we could obtain fat from bodyfat and cholesterol was a killer
    • NOTE: they have turned around about face and say the egg complete with yolk is one of the most healthy foods there is since it contains all the main vitamins we need except vitamin C
  • Eat Breakfast (most programs encourage this)
  • Improve Self Image

Dr OZ on Oprah added the following:

--- your tongue contributes to the fat because humans use food efficiently (the show didn't say what to do about that one) but he suggested that if you are a "supertaster" you might crave more food  (it is interesting that a very old study on obesity - like in the 1940's - took fat people and slim people and hospitalized them for 2 weeks.  They were fed a tasteless liquid food but could have as much as they wanted.  The slim people's consumption remained about the same amount of calories as they always ate but the fat people's consumption went way down to about 500 calories a day and they lost a bunch of weight in the two weeks.  So there might be something to this theory of Dr Oz's)


--- Your mood determines what type of food you crave.  His list somehow reminds me of the joke about baldness - if you lose hair in the front, you are a thinker.  If you lose hair in the back you are a lover. And if you lose hair both places, you THINK you are a LOVER.


Here's Dr Oz' list which covers all ground (like the bald joke):


  • Meat could mean you're angry
  • Sweets might be a sign of depression
  • Ice cream might mean you're anxious
  • Salty snacks could mean you're stressed
  • Pasta might signal loneliness or sexual frustration
  • All of the above might mean you're just a little bit jealous

Well that's basically it. If you do all of the above, Dr Oz promises you will "lose weight" and if you don't - well, one could still say that Dr Oz' diet is about as effective as anything else out there.  :)

Oprah seems to have gained a bunch of weight she had lost back and is now a financer as well as a member of Weight Watchers.

You can likely learn something about health from the book, YOU ON A DIET but whether this diet will cause a lasting weight loss - probably not unless you are in the "lucky 5 percent" who can keep the weight off.  (95 percent of people THINK they are in that 5 percent!)