Dr. Mehmet Oz is planning to run for Senate in Pennsylvania, multiple sources told The Daily Beast.
Famed for his daytime talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show,” Oz has grown the investigation into weight loss products into a crusade of sorts. He frequently interviews his audience on The Dr. Oz Show about the products they’ve tried in hopes that they will have an effect on their own diets. He’s interviewed a host of celebrities about the products. He’s even referred to himself as a “guru.” He launched the website, mehmetozhealthguide.com, to “educate the public about the dubious claims being made for weight loss products.”
Shortly after he launched this website in January, a research study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that weight loss products marketed by fitness celebrities, like Oz and Jillian Michaels, were not effective and were in fact dangerous. On “The Dr. Oz Show,” several of his guests made similar claims.
“When you start to depend on these quick fixes, it makes you feel better for a short period of time, but if you keep doing it, it makes you feel worse,” Oz said on the show in 2011. “This is a huge issue in the weight-loss industry.”
His motives became clear after he launched his website in January. Last month, the organization, The National Center for Science in the Public Interest (NCSPI), gave Oz an “F” grade on its annual scorecard on the safety of food, nutrition, and supplements. (Oz’s show received a “B” on the scorecard.)
Oz has not announced a candidacy and has a long way to go to launch a political campaign before Election Day in November.
It is unclear if Oz’s current show will be canceled because of his decision. A representative for CBS, which airs his show, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Pennsylvania senatorial race in November will be a crowded race between several other Democrats, including Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.