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Dr. Oz to tackle new health topics in 5th season

Tulsa World (OK)


Sept. 08--Publicly, Dr. Mehmet Oz gets asked most often about weight loss.

But privately, what people really want to know about is sex. How often to have it? How to get in the mood for it? What is the best way to achieve intimacy?

"The most common private questions I get asked when people aren't embarrassed is about sex and intimacy in a relationship," Oz said in a teleconference promoting the fifth season of the syndicated "The Dr. Oz Show" launching Monday.

"And I do think that in America we are dealing with the reality that it's not just about love. There also needs to be an element of lust to the process of sexiness. And so I'm going to spend some time on this show on edgy programs around that theme because I do think sex is broken in America. ...

"I was watching a show over the summer, and the protagonist was Kevin Spacey. There was a line in there -- it struck me -- that said 'Everything in the world is about sex except sex, which is about power.' He's right. And I was thinking about that. It's one of those basic biologic drivers that governs so much of our behavior just like hunger, which is why sometimes food becomes the way we cope with stress."

Sex, including the best sex positions to safely use with someone who has back pain, will be among the topics this season, Oz said. But all topics will be handled in such a way that no one should be embarrassed.

"We got a lot of feedback that viewers like laughing on the show. We take an uncomfortable topic and bring laughter to it. There's all kinds of ways of getting folks to enjoy life, and I would argue that, for most Americans, having a good time laughing their way through life is as important as losing weight."

The new season also include celebrity guests including Willie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," comedian Wayne Brady and rocker Steven Tyler. The show format has also been updated, said Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and best-selling author who served as health expert on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" starting in 2004.

"I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish, but Oprah (Winfrey) challenged us with an email the night we won our third straight Emmy. So I thought we'd all be high-fiving. And she said, 'Now is the time to realize that you have to compete against yourself,' which is what she did on her own show for 25 years. So she was right to do that because that's the challenge we have that America gives us. How do we make our show better so that we can fulfill our mission more successfully?"

One way is to make the show faster paced, he explained. Each show this season will include at least three and usually four or five topics. Everyone, audience included, will be "out of the chairs more," he said. "It's a much more lively show."

The shows will also feature new sets for demonstrations like a 15-to-20-foot-high weave, representing what a women does when she puts a weave in her hair. It's a "profoundly important issue" to African-American women that will be featured in the first week of the season, he said. It's a demonstration that helps women of color know what is going on in the hair at a medical level, which then starts a conversation about the emotional issues that drive women to do what they do to their hair, Oz said.

"You want both sides of that, and the show's going to try to do that, as well."

The first week also explores varied topics including fibroids, sleep, cold sores, shoe fashion vs. shoe comfort, mood swings, thyroid, addiction, the weight of women's purses, bronchitis, sleep compatibility with a partner and how to get in and out of a fast food restaurant for 500 calories.

"This year, you'll notice on our show we go out of our way to make sure that tips are either free or extremely inexpensive," said Oz, who has written more than 400 original publications, book chapters and medical books.

"The show is meant to be fun and uplifting. And, you know, a celebratory event where everyone is happy when they leave the hour of the program. There's a real mission to make sure that we're giving people lifesaving information."


When: 3:30-5 p.m. Sept. 9 only 4-5 p.m. regular weekday time slot

Where: KJRH, channel 2, cable 9

Rita Sherrow 918-581-8360


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