Doctors on television like Oprah Winfrey’s pal Dr. Mehmet Oz and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta have been known to change their medical minds (and apologize) in public. Last year Gupta changed his mind about marijuana and its medicinal benefits (he’s for it now). And in February 2014, Oz told his millions of viewers to eliminate agave from their diets, the very same “natural” sugar substitute Oz has publicly promoted since 2004 (via Oprah).
This isn’t a James Frey “A Million Little Pieces” kind of deception. Or, is it? Oz claims he didn’t know agave contains more fructose than any other common sweetener. And no, the fructose content of agave hasn’t changed. As Atlantic writer James Hamblin, MD points out in his article “Being Happy with Sugar,” it’s “an empiric piece of data that has long been available.” Just weeks before his agave mea culpa post, Oz launched his popular Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan (lose 10 pounds in 10 days) which advises dieters to eliminate any food or drink containing added sugar, including agave. And is it a coincidence that Oz announced he was wrong about agave during February Sweeps? That week, The Dr. Oz Show broke a new season record with more than 3.4 million viewers, and more than two million people visited his website. Any information they find there is, apparently, subject to change.