Audience Ambush

Cookies, muffins, and danishes galore!

Cookies, muffins, and danishes galore!

That’s what a fraction of The Dr. Oz Show audience members found waiting for them in our audience holding area last week. It was an Oz Ambush that none of them saw coming.

I’m very fortunate to have a show where the audience can participate and act as my co-stars. They’re always fantastic, and their energy amazes me. That’s why I love getting them involved in all sorts of ways. I can always rely on them to keep me on my toes. After this ambush, I can only wonder how many of my assistants of the day may actually have been on a sugar rush.  

If you saw Monday’s show, then you witnessed several audience members reel when it was revealed that they were a part of a carefully orchestrated ambush. Normally, when folks arrive at Rockefeller Center to see a live taping of the show, they head up to the mezzanine level where our audience coordinator checks them in, gives them exclusive studio access bracelets, and lines them up while I’m speeding through rehearsal in the upstairs studio.

But on the day we filmed Monday’s episode, we ushered the first 25 audience members to our offices 43 floors up. As they entered our conference room, they were very excited and completely oblivious to the hidden cameras surrounding a catering table piled with high with 2 snack options: highly caloric and fatty sweets – or fresh fruits. For all they knew, they were getting a behind-the-scenes look at our show. In reality, they were becoming part of it.

After about half an hour of secretly filming their food choices, we lined them up, brought them to the studio, and loaded them into our audience – and they never suspected a thing!

I’ve done shows about secret eaters, stress eaters, and emotional eaters – folks whose bad eating habits only emerged when no one was around. But how about people whose bad eating habits only emerge when everyone is around? They use the group as an excuse to indulge in unhealthy foods they normally wouldn’t. Would you call them pack eaters? 

Unlike a sleep eater, the pack eater is consciously aware of his or her strategy. They might not be too stressed out over the decision to take 3 or 4 cookies because “they eat healthy on a regular basis.” They might also consider it socially obligatory when everyone else is splurging on the sugars. But the advice I would give them is the same advice I’d give all the other secret eaters: find a healthy substitute, enforce limits, and displace emotional turmoil or stress with physical activity such as exercise.  

To get more tips on how to stop emotional eating click here.

Want to help lower your risk of getting cancer? The answer could be in the food you eat! Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer at WebMD and the author of "Take Control of Your Cancer Risk," says there are three kinds of foods that could really help prevent cancer: garlic, fish and grapes. And what three kinds of foods should you avoid? Red and processed meats, refined grains, and alcoholic and sugary drinks. Watch the videos below to learn more about how food could be connected to your cancer risk.