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TELEVISION & RADIO | TUNED IN

'Dr. Oz' fills new prescription for improving personal health

October 20, 2003|Mark Sachs | Times Staff Writer

He was named one of the sexiest men alive by People magazine, but Mehmet Oz is no Hollywood heartbreaker. In fact, quite the opposite.

The slim, dark-haired Oz is a New York City heart surgeon, and he'll be sharing some words to live by in an entertaining and informative new Discovery Channel series premiering today at 5 titled "Second Opinion With Dr. Oz."

The hourlong shows, which delve into wide-ranging strategies for healthier lifestyles, will air weekdays at 5 during a three-week rollout, as well as every Saturday at 2 p.m. Beginning Nov. 11, "Dr. Oz" will settle into a weekly format, airing Mondays at 5.

To keep the show's pulse elevated, Oz and a battalion of executive producers have crafted a multipronged attack strategy in which guest physicians such as Dean Ornish and Mitch Gaynor join forces with celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Naomi Judd to tackle topics focused on getting the mind and body operating at peak efficiency. Filmed segments with regular Joes and Janes and their personal health challenges are particularly effective.

The series opens today with "Weight Matters," in which the super-sized eating habits of millions of Americans are taken to task. Winfrey weighs in with a painful anecdote that nevertheless provided her with a moment of clarity.

"I remember sitting at a fight and they announced [boxer Mike] Tyson's weight,' she says. "I remember thinking, 'I weigh more than the heavyweight champion of the world! That can't be a good thing.' "

After the match, Winfrey, who acknowledges jumping into a series of crash weight-loss campaigns "for all the wrong reasons" at several junctures in her life, embarked on a simple regimen of daily exercise and healthy diet choices, and judging from the sleek way she filled out her smart yellow jogging suit, she's on the right track.

Oz offers myriad tips for others to do the same, so keep your notepad handy. He also screens extremely graphic footage of another tactic: stomach-stapling surgery, which, if nothing else, may help weak-willed dieters skip a meal or two.

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