Does Watching Oprah Really Put Us At Risk?

   By drodriguez  Jun 19, 2009

You may have read the recent Newsweek article, "Why Health Advice on ?Oprah’ Could Make You Sick", which slams her for various episodes in which she focuses on alternative medicines and ideas.  The article reports about the show in which Winfrey featured Suzanne Somers as her guest to discuss the health regimen Somers believes keeps her young and healthy.  Somers told Winfrey that she takes 60 vitamin supplements a day as well as injecting estrogen into her vagina every night.  Oprah admits that this may sound strange to many people, but she also stated that it was possible Somers could be a “pioneer” of staying healthy and young.

The Newsweek article also reports on how Winfrey featured Jenny Garth’s anti-vaccine stance, Winfrey’s own bout with thyroid problems, benefits of plastic surgery, and so on.  The article brings in experts that clearly state Winfrey has acted irresponsibly by spotlighting these issues on the show in too much of a one-sided manner.  Cynthia Pearson, executive director of the nonprofit National Women’s Health Network and hormone therapy expert responds to the Suzanne Somers episode by saying, “It blew me away that Oprah would go to her for advice on this topic.  I have to say, it diminished my respect.”

Not everyone agrees with the views expressed in the Newsweek article.  Women to Women, a health care organization that provides care for women, publicly denounced the recent attack on Winfrey from Newsweek.  Nurse Practitioner and co-founder of Women to Women,Marcelle Pick said, “The thing that is most upsetting to me about the recent attempt to undermine Oprah’s approach is that it doesn’t present a balanced perspective on alternative therapies and the role they play on our wellness.”  Pick goes on to discuss that a lot of what we consider “alternative” approaches here may be tried and true standards in other countries.

Lee Schneider, from the Huffington Post, also commented on the Newsweek attack.  Schneider questions the validity of mainstream medicine.  He points out that historically there have been plenty of conventional treatments and medicines that were later proved to be unsafe or dangerous as well as controversial new approaches that have worked in the long run.  Schneider writes, “Newsweek is going backward, contributing to the backlash against new medicine.  Oprah is going forward by supporting medical pioneers.”

Do you think Oprah Winfrey has acted irresponsibly by featuring alternative medicines on her show?

Has Newsweek gone too far with their criticism of Winfrey?


Make a Comment

farmerbrown2002 by farmerbrown2002 | springfield, LA
Nov 02, 2009

As stated its freedom of choice.

Alyssarae92293 by Alyssarae92293 | BOYNTON BEACH, FL
Oct 14, 2009

I completely agree with stsunflowers. BELIVE WHAT YOU WANT TO BELIVE!

tessvis by tessvis | Atlanta, GA
Oct 04, 2009

This is ridiculous! Oprah is medley sharing information on what people are choosing to do rather than only following the traditional method to care. Freedom of choice should be respected.

Zengirl8 by Zengirl8 | Clifton, NJ
Oct 03, 2009

Oprah reaches the masses so she does want to show the world there are other therapies out there to use instead of just the conventional ones. Her program is very educational and informative but just because she is showcasing these methods does not mean one has to follow it. Everyone is in charge of their own health and she's trying to implement ways in which we can take be proactive with it..why do you think Dr. Oz is on so often and is a popular guest? She gets the audience and viewers to ask questions that they may have and get answers they need as well as other information that can be helpful. If you are well educated on different methods for healing through the foods you eat, supplements, western medicine,eastern medicine I don't see anything wrong with it. It broadens your views and helps you in the long run to know there are other choices out there.

jami78 by jami78 | RACINE, WI
Sep 06, 2009

Oprah USED TO BE a good talk show hostess. Now she is just full of herself and her topics are too drama-filled.

Aug 10, 2009

I don't think Oprah Winfrey has acted irresponsibly. She mentions that we should consult our doctors before trying anything. I love Oprah:) She is not biased and gives everyone a chance to give their opinions, whether right or wrong. We all deserve that chance. Also we have choices....Oprah never tries to brainwash and make you do anything that she may discuss on her show. Leave Ms. Oprah Winfrey alone.

amy_in_cosprings by amy_in_cosprings | Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 31, 2009

My question is are we all mindless sheep? Wouldn't be the point that we all have to make our own decisions. I enjoy that fact that she is showing people alternatives but it is the up person's who is watching to make the decision. Hopefully the research it and make and educated decision.

chickb13 by chickb13 | Hutchinson, KS
Jul 29, 2009

Whether it seems one sided or not it is the viewer who has to make the decision to research the information that is presented if it is something that they are interested in. At least Oprah is giving people different options whether it is mainstream or not.

grumpyshar by grumpyshar | avondale, AZ
Jul 11, 2009

I watch Oprah as do many women and even some men. shows like hers are helpful because the do explore alternative treatments. many of our doctors only discuss with us the treatments they prefer. I worked in a medical office for a long time and I can tell you the doctor i worked for would never talk to a patient about alternative treatments. With that doctor it was all pills and surgery solved everything. I do believe it is up to each person to explore all treatments and then find the right one for them.

candaceg by candaceg | chapel hill, NC
Jul 08, 2009

Oprah is the best thing to happen to women around the world in a long time. She always presents balanced discussion. We are NOT blind sheep following ignorantly. Let's just put that myth to an end. We ARE empowered women able to listen even to biased opinions and weigh the facts. Newsweek hasn't gone any farther than any other journalist. Journalism in this country is no longer even keeled. They are all climbing over each other to "get the story" and sell, sell, sell. They're just getting their two-cents in. Women need to pick and choose more wisely than ever now. I choose Oprah! She educates, uplifts, stumbles and tries again.

nenesyd by nenesyd | Rye, NY
Jul 08, 2009

I agree 100% with what EsposaYMama says in her above comment.

stsunflowers by stsunflowers | fremont, CA
Jul 07, 2009

To me all this has been exaggerated.. what's the big deal.. believe what you want..

EsposaYMama by EsposaYMama | Powell, WY
Jul 06, 2009

I think that for those of us who are educated and research what we hear, her show can be entertaining. But for those who are less educated and don't do independent research, she is quite dangerous.

mommamamps by mommamamps | Delaware, OH
Jul 05, 2009

When you are fortunate to have your own talk show, you can pretty much put out any type of show you choose. I think we all have to keep in mind that there is the general assumption that Oprah's audience are capable of making up their own minds if something works or is hokie, healthy or unhealthy, etc. etc. Oprah doesn't claim to be a doctor or lawyer, rocket scientist or truck driver. She is a talk show host - plain and simple. She presents ideas. If she accepts those ideas and applies them to her daily life, then that is her choice. It's not Oprah who should make up your's you

Krystyna by Krystyna | Lockport, IL
Jul 02, 2009

Oh no she did not go too far. Hey she just has these people on her show to let America know that it may be possible that ceertain "cures" may work for some. Like in Somer's case I know someone who has a similar lifestyle and it works for her. She states that she never gets sick anymore or even gets gets moodys since she went all natural with food. There is nothing wrong with trying to go against the science world for treatment. I love Oprah especially Dr. Oz.