The Emmy-winning "The Dr. Oz Show" kicks off its second season on Monday (Jan. 3) and the talk show host says he's still extremely excited about the daytime gig.
"It's a blast. It's fun at every level," Dr. Mehmet Oz, 50, tells Zap2it. "First of all, we get to celebrate people wherever they are. You meet them in life whether they're overweight or addicted or recovering from a problem and you get to understand what's going on in their minds."
And, according to Dr. Oz, what's the No. 1 health issue on people's minds? Obesity, which he'll be addressing with the launch of his 11-week weight loss challenge on Monday's show. But, what other health concerns do Americans ask about most and what don't they worry about enough?
"The most public concern they ask about is obesity, but their most private question they ask me is about the sexual famine in America," the heart surgeon and Columbia University professor says about the second biggest topic among viewers.
"They want to know why their libido is gone," he says. "Why their spouse doesn't care for them anymore, what happened to all that sensuality they thought was going to be a part of their life as they got older."
According to Dr. Oz, a lack of sexual libido could be linked to other health problems. "Not having sex is a barometer of your overall health," he says. "If the body is functioning normally, all the chemistry is right, all the hormones are flowing, you should desire to have sex a lot. It's a natural part of who we are, to procreate."
So, what's the third biggest health concern for Americans? "Memory," he says. "People feel their memory is fading, they're not as sharp as they used to be, what can I do about it. It's a very practical question and you should use supplements to make sure you keep up their intellectual vigor."
We then asked the good doctor what Americans don't care enough about. "Without any hesitation in my mind, I'd say sleep," he answers.
While deceptively simple, Americans have a strange relationship to sleep. Part of the fabric of our country revolves around the pressure of what we do in our waking hours and we express it with sayings like, "You can sleep when you're dead." But, Dr. Oz says we're not living our lives to the fullest if we're not sleeping enough.
"I'm a heart surgeon," he says. "I was trained in an environment where sleep was ridiculed. It was a macho thing not to sleep. With the information I have now, what I work the hardest at is sleeping. If I don't sleep well during the night, I examine why that's so. I rigorously avoid taking products for it. It's a personal passion of mine."
Dr. Oz tells us that he spends a lot of time talking about the ill effects of not getting enough shuteye. "It's correlated with illness," he says. "Leads to hypertension, early death, accidents, lots of problems if you're not sleeping well. The inability to sleep is also a reflection that your inner harmony is not there."
To join Dr. Oz's "Move It and Lose It" 11-week weight loss challenge, visit the website.
Will you be adding "more sleep" to your New Year's resolutions?
Photo/Video credit: Sony Pictures Television/Eric Liebowitz