The #CancelBreakfast controversy has taken an even less interesting turn [UPDATED]

Illustration for article titled The #CancelBreakfast controversy has taken an even less interesting turn [UPDATED]
Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage (Getty Images)

Update, January 15, 2020: Quick recap from earlier this week: After Dr. Oz declared breakfast “canceled” in 2020 (deeming the supposed importance of breakfast “a marketing ploy” and saying that we should only start eating when we feel good and hungry), Mark Wahlberg challenged that thinking, saying his own preference was to have breakfast first thing in the morning before a workout.

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Now, the professional pot-stirrers at TMZ have escalated the rather thin beef by asking what Oz thinks of Wahlberg’s dissent. “When he said I was dead wrong about breakfast,” Oz told TMZ, “I said I wanted to have a little discussion about that.”

Oz goes on to reiterate that brunch might be a better move than breakfast for many people, and cites some medical literature that supports the idea of intermittent fasting. “The key question to ask Mark and everyone else who’s thinking about whether to cancel breakfast is: Do I really have to eat when I first get up?” he said. “Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. Why would you do that to yourself?”

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And then, with a wild and mischievous look in his eye, Dr. Oz boldly issued a challenge to Wahlberg:

“I think the endurance benefits of fasting in the morning are great enough that I can do 20 push-ups—one-legged push-ups—without struggling. I’ll see if Mark can as well....I’m hoping he can come through on this, but if he’s got a full stomach and tries to do it—we’ll see.”

Only time will tell if Wahlberg’s camp decides that responding to this provocation is good for the brand. And if this #CancelBreakfast repartee strays any further from actual breakfast, The Takeout might have to do what’s best for its own brand and tap out.

Original post, January 13, 2020: Let no one say that TMZ doesn’t do everything in its power to follow a story. (Indeed, when it comes to TMZ, this is often what people take issue with in the first place.) On Friday, the story went straight to breakfast, which might not be the most important meal of the day after all.

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Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, whose Wikipedia entry comprehensively describes him as “a Turkish American television personality, cardiothoracic surgeon, Columbia University professor, pseudoscience promoter, and author,” told TMZ last week that breakfast isn’t as important for our health as conventional wisdom dictates. When asked about the health trends of 2020 that we should all be following, Oz responded, “For 2020, one of the first things I’m going to do is ban breakfast. I don’t think we need to eat breakfast; that’s an advertising ploy.” Instead, he recommends intermittent fasting and only eating our first meal at the point in the day when we start to get hungry—that is, “cancel breakfast [and] have brunch every day of the week.”

While there are lots of studies linking breakfast to improved health, it might also true that you have to eat the right foods at breakfast in order to reap those benefits (rather than, say, a big bowl of sugar). In short, there are many people out there who disagree with Dr. Oz, and one passionate breakfast defender is Mark Wahlberg.

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TMZ chased down the entertainer, fitness influencer, and restaurateur to have him weigh in on the #cancelbreakfast issue, and he threw down the gauntlet: “Listen,” said Wahlberg, “I don’t care what Dr. Oz says. I’ve got to have my breakfast before I work out.” Since his workouts start at 3:40 a.m., he actually eats two full breakfasts before most of us are awake. An admittedly atypical schedule, but a compelling data point in the anti-Oz camp.

And now it appears that TMZ is adding this breakfast query to its regular battery of questions posed to celebrities. Kris Jenner has also opined on the #cancelbreakfast movement: “That’s not a bad idea,” she said, rather inscrutably.

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The Takeout might have Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?, but TMZ appears to be piloting “Breakfast Or No Breakfast?”

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

can we just “cancel” Dr. Oz?  Yes, he is legitimately a medical professional (as you say, cardiothoracic surgeon) yet he does nothing but abuse his title promoting nonsense based on stuff that is way out of his area of expertise.