Televised medical talk shows: Health education or entertainment?

December 19, 2014 5:32 PM

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(Edmonton) For millions of people around the world, televised medical talk shows have become a daily viewing ritual. Programs such as The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors have attracted massive followings as charismatic hosts discuss new medical research and therapies while offering viewers their own recommendations for better health. For show producers it's a winning ratings formula, but for viewers eager for a healthier life, the results aren't so clear cut.

"The research supporting any of these recommendations is frequently absent, contradictory or of poor quality," says Christina Korownyk, an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

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