By ELLEN STERLING
If doctors can be rock stars, then Mehmet C. Oz certainly qualifies. His daily television show is second in the daytime ratings and he draws crowds wherever he speaks.
While not quite as well known as Oz, Michael F. Roizen, MD, is Chief Wellness Officer of the Cleveland Clinic. He is also the researcher who created the RealAge scale that takes objective measures of individual’s health — weight, body mass, blood pressure, among them — and uses the numbers to determine the individual’s age when measured by these important health factors as opposed to the actual age in years. Oz and Roizen have co-authored the you.series of books (YOU on A Diet, YOU Having A Baby) a series of books dealing with health-related issues. Described by Oz as his “best friend,” Roizen is a frequent guest on the latter’s show.
The physicians were here in Las Vegas as guests of the Keep Memory Alive Foundation to speak February 12 at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Their topic was “Why We Do what We Do on the Dr. Oz Show.”
Their talk — they spoke separately with Oz up before Roizen and they closed with questions from the audience –was full of charts, photos and video. from it, the audience learned that the critically important thing they do on the Dr. Oz Show and, in fact, in their books and personal appearances, is try to get their audience to understand and accept that every person old enough to make decisions is responsible for his or her own health.
They even told the audience what “Elvis’ major contribution to us was and how much it was worth to America.”
Their talk was full of lists of things each of us can do to change our health for the better, starting with four basics
* Listen before trying to fix a problem. People want to be heard. think about what the person is really telling you. until you’ve listened and understand the problem, don’t suggest solutions.
* Ancient solutions work. Alternative therapies (acupuncture, for example) do work and that’s why they’ve been used for centuries.
* make it easy to do the right thing. Be there to help. if something is easy to do, there’s more chance it will get done. That’s the key to prevention.
* Feelings change minds. Telling someone smoking will damage their lungs is much less effective than showing a picture of a smoker’s lungs.
Oz is a cardiovascular surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital and, while passionate about preventive medicine and wellness in general, his particular crusade seems to be the prevention of atherosclerosis, the condition that occurs when fatty substances build up on the walls of arteries. This build up, called plaque, blocks the blood flow through the arteries and is the leading cause of death in the United States.
It is not, he said, a good feeling “when you walk into the operating room and know you’re going to take a band saw to the patient’s chest for surgery that could have been prevented.”
He noted that poor diet and environmental factors are both triggers of disease. “Monday morning is the most common time for heart attacks,” he said. “If you already have the plaque, the stress of beginning the work week can trigger the event.”
Oz urged each audience member to become “a smart patient.” to do this he suggested: keeping an up-to-date copy of your medical history so you can bring the physician the information.
He also recommended getting a second opinion. “Only 10 percent of patients get a second opinion and, one-third of the time, that changes their diagnosis,” he noted.
For optimum health, Dr. Oz listed the five factors that “determine 70 percent of how you age:”
* Blood pressure: the ideal is 115/75 and you should avoid foods and environmental factors like stress that may raise it.
* Smoking and other toxins harm your health and cause faster aging.
* Everyone should get 30 minutes of exercise each day.
* Eat a healthy diet that is easy to love; that is made up of things you like.
* Controlling stress in your environment can go a long way toward improving your health status.
He also recommended correct breathing techniques — deep breaths as used in yoga and martial arts — and told the audience that waist size should be no larger than half a person’s height. So, a person who is 64 inches tall should have a waist size of no more than 32 inches.
“These sound like soft, fuzzy solutions,” he acknowledged. “But, they’re not. They work.”
As he finished his talk, Oz said that in dealing with our health, “we all make mistakes but they can be corrected” and, thus, disease can be prevented.
Dr. Roizen is known as “The Enforcer” on Oz’s show because he will visit people and make sure theat their food intake and lifestyle is what they need to improve and maintain their health.
He began by saying “Most of us think we hit our peak quality of life between ages 25 and 35 and it’s all downhill from there.” He paused and said, “And it is. Your IQ declines about five percent over 10 years from that point on” but that is not inevitable.
“Before you’re 35, it’s your genes that determine your health. after 35, it’s your choices.”
Like Oz, Roizen repeatedly emphasized the fact that our lives, our health, are largely a result of the choices we make. Echoing Dr. Oz’s belief about correcting mistakes, Roizen said, “You can get a do-over in life, even with cancer, but remember that food is not Let’s make A Deal. Moderation does not work. it can be a killer.”
Looking at history, he told his audience, “In Norway in 1939, when the Nazis occupied the country and took away chocolate and other fats, the number of heart attacks plummeted. Today, we in the United States have two times more chronic disease than in Europe. when it comes to obesity we’re ahead of the rest of the world.”
Telling his audience that autopsies of children showed that some as young as six have definite signs of atherosclerosis and talked about lunch in an elementary school he visited. the cafeteria served the children donuts with frosting and sprinkles, claiming the sprinkles are fortified with Vitamin A. “But that lunch was 3,400 calories. And it was being fed to food-insecure children so it was possible that this was the only meal they’d get that day. no wonder we’re ahead of the rest of the world in obesity.”
Using graphs, both doctors pointed out that the US has lost fundamental parts of our economy — particularly manufacturing jobs — to other countries and laid the blame squarely on our shoulders because, as a nation, our diets are putting our health at risk and driving up medical costs. thus, manufacturers cannot afford health insurance for their workers and workers are missing work due to illness.
“The choices we make,” Roizen said, “will determine if the US can compete for jobs.”
With this in mind, Roizen suggested a set of steps we should all take to improve our health:
* We can control what goes in our bodies and we should do so.
* Avoid toxins like tobacco and second-hand smoke.
* Avoid Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound used to make plastics. Last year, Canada became the first country to totally ban BPA. since early exposure to BPA is the time in life when the chemical can have the greatest effects, Roizen suggested avoiding plastic baby, water and other bottles and, even, avoid handling those shiny receipts you get that are often coated with BPA. “It can be transferred from your hands to a child’s body,” he said.
* Avoid excess radiation. Don’t have a medical test that involves radiation unless it is absolutely necessary.
* Walk 10,000 steps a day.
* in addition to walking, do other forms of physical activity, notably cardiovascular and muscle-building exercises.
* Have a buddy you can call on when you feel your motivation to start living a healthier lifestyle flagging. He also strongly suggested that the buddy be female because women tend to be more knowledgeable about these issues and will dish out some tough love if necessary.
* Manage your stress with meditation and physical activity and by avoiding those stressful situations that you can avoid.
* take half a multi-vitamin two times each day, consider taking two baby aspirin daily for heart health.
* Sleep six and a half to eight hours daily.
* Love something and do it every day.
To this, Dr. Oz added, “Your genes load the gun and environment pulls the trigger,” then talked about the fact that some things cannot be avoided. For example, he said, even though he eats right — he’s a vegan — meditates and exercises, a colonoscopy revealed a pre-cancerous polyp. He was, he said genetically predisposed to the disease and there was a trigger and, sometimes, that cannot be helped.
Finally, that major contribution Elvis made is well worth noting.
Showing a photo of the star getting a polio vaccination in 1956, they said that until that photo appeared around the world there was widespread resistance to the vaccine. But, once people saw the photo, they decided that, if Elvis could do that, they could, too. “Thus,” Roizen said, “Elvis played a big part in the eradication of polio in our country.”
In the end, the message was simple and clear: like Elvis’ choice to get that polio inoculation, we each have choices we can make in life and making the right choices for health benefits each of us and our country as a whole.
<a href="http://www.lvrj.com/health/dr-oz-offers-health-advice-117571618.html?ref=618tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.lvrj.com/health/dr-oz-offers-health-advice-117571618.html?ref=618Tue, 08 Mar 2011 11:26:13 GMT 00:00″>Dr. Oz offers health advice