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Dr. Oz diagnoses five of his favorite characters

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Image Credit: ZoCo Produtions, LLC / Sam JonesThis week, Mehmet Oz celebrated the six-month anniversary of his hit syndicated talker, The Dr. Oz Show. He might have recently been named one of Cosmo‘s 2010 Fun Fearless Males, but he took our assignment — diagnosing five of his all-time favorite TV and movie characters — seriously:

Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason)/The Honeymooners

“One of these days, Alice!” was clearly a sign of hypertension and uncontrolled anger, which is unhealthy for one’s heart, not to mention one’s marriage. Ralph was also obese, leading a sedentary life as a bus driver and probably had all the complications that routinely go along with those circumstances. His hot temper was probably one of the greatest threats though, causing a surge in cortisol, a stress hormone linked to obesity and heart disease. The adrenaline of the constant emotion also aggravates high blood pressure. Ralph would have done well to exercise more and practice meditation to calm him down a bit. Alice would have been better off, and he would have lived a long and healthier life.

Rod Serling/The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone wouldn’t have been a success without Rod Serling’s hair-raising introductions and outros. His calm, creepy unaffected demeanor has become iconic in our culture for any circumstance where anticipation of weirdness is warranted. Yet Serling frequently appeared in his monologues chain-smoking cigarettes, which would have quickened his heart rate, damaged his lungs, clogged his arteries, and increased his risk of pancreatic cancer. The brilliant and pioneering author of one of my favorite television series suffered several heart attacks before a final fatal one at age 50. The cigarettes certainly did not help, and there were many places my imagination would still have loved to have gone with Rod Serling.

Charlie Chaplin/The Tramp

This is the breakthrough silent film which gives us our iconic image of Charlie Chaplin as a vagrant in oversized shoes, using physical mime as comedic technique. His movements are erratic and very funny, but it’s likely he was very sore afterwards. Stretching before and after these scenes were shot would have been necessary to keep his ligaments and joints in good shape. He would have benefited from stretching his hamstrings. In an age before anti-inflammatories, he likely took aspirin for any soreness and used ice, but today he would have benefited from any over-the-counter pain reliever.

Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley)/Star Trek

Dr. McCoy was the Enterprise‘s chief medical officer and surgeon. As a former doctor for the Turkish army, I identify. He is at risk of countless alien infectious diseases and, in several episodes, contracts some real nasty ones. He needs to boost his immunity by taking vitamin D and Omega 3s to fight off colds and disease. In the movie Star Trek VI, he suffers with arthritis, which is normal for people in their 70s. Dr. McCoy lived to be 137 in the series, which is outlandish by today’s standards. Healthy living, however, can easily increase your chances of becoming a centenarian, and I have traveled around the world studying people over the age of 100. Dr. McCoy leads by example and maintains healthy diet and fitness, which all physicians should do.

Oliver Hardy/Laurel and Hardy

Mr. Hardy, with a BMI way over 30, likely suffers from high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Obesity presents a barrage of health complications, and, as a heart surgeon, over the years I have operated on hundreds of patients that were very similar in profile to Oliver Hardy. An aggressive weight loss plan and lifestyle change would have helped him regain and maintain his health. He would have benefited if he followed Stan Laurel around more or practiced for the many hilarious stunts that were in their films.