Dr Christian Jessen: Life, Health and Twitter
Dr Christian’s last word on embarrassing questions, his love for Twitter and health priorities for 2012…
Dr Christian’s book Can I Just Ask? (£12.99, Hay House) which dispels urban health myths is selling well and he’d love to do a second issue. The TV doc says: ‘The title came about because “Can I just ask?” is the first thing people say to me. It’s nice they feel they can ask intimate, embarrassing things even though I’ve never met them before. My mother said, “Aren’t you happy that people are comfortable asking you these things?”, and thinking about it, I am. I must seem approachable!’
A massive Twitter fan, Dr Christian personally answers the many health questions posed by his thousands of followers – and he loves doing it.
‘I literally get hundreds of health-related questions a day so I hold impromptu health clinics. At first I thought that I’d be on dodgy ground, that I might get the answer wrong. But most of the questions are straightforward and I always re-tweet (publish) so everyone can read the answers. The chair of the Royal College of GPs sometimes joins the discussions so she clearly approves of my interactive approach. Celebrities follow me, as well as Caitlin Moran, Eva Wiseman and, of course, @athomemag.’
Supersize coffins on way
The fattest place in the US is Evansville, where 37.8% of people are obese. Dr Christian visited there for Supersize vs Superskinny to show how hospitals are having to buy extra large beds to accommodate the expanding population. ‘There’s a company called Gargantuan Caskets, which makes coffins 40-50 inches across. It’s horrific,’ says Dr Christian. ‘And we are not far off having to do the same in the UK’.
Priorities for 2012
‘There are three issues when it comes to health’, says Dr Christian. ‘The first is weight – aim to keep yours in the healthy range. It’s so boring, but so important. Alcohol is next, as most of us drink too much, particularly middle-aged, middle Englanders. The third is sexual health – we need to get people talking about it.’
Photograph: John Wright