Tuesday 16 January 2018

Lost your sex drive? Going bald? Don't worry, TV is here to help

Deirdre Reynolds on the new show that reveals all about our 'embarrassing' conditions

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images
Library Image. Photo: Getty Images
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

So Ireland, how healthy do you think you really are? That's the question posed by a new TV series kicking off tonight.

And investigating how what you stuff in your face is related to everything from obesity to baldness, it may make viewers think twice about their microwave supper.

Over the next six weeks, the state of the nation -- both inside and out --will be probed and prodded by home-grown Tv3 programme How Healthy Are You?

But while audiences may already be pretty clued in when it comes to public health problems such as clogged arteries and cancer, it's the conditions we don't talk about that are sure to provide the most water-cooler fodder.

From Jekyll and Hyde-style PMS to love-life-crushing low libido and emotional eating, Ireland's most embarrassing everyday ailments are set to go under the microscope as part of the series. It's time to stop sweeping sickness under the carpet, says presenter and nutritional therapist Elsa Jones.

"In Ireland, I think we get caught up in politeness too much," says Elsa, whom eagle-eyed telly fans will recognise from Channel 6 movie show Take 6.

"When someone asks how you are, you automatically say: 'I'm grand', rather than saying: 'Actually, I've got terrible PMS!'

"We tend to whitewash our well-being. There are still so many health issues that need to be brought out in the open."

But with gross-out shows such as Fat Families and Embarrassing Bodies already on our screens, is there really anything wrong with us that we're still too red-faced to reveal?

"Definitely," reckons Elsa. "Most people would never dream of telling their family GP they've lost their sex drive; first of all, you'd be terrified of meeting half your neighbours in the waiting room!

"A lot of the time, there can be a quite simple solution to the problem, but people don't know who to turn to and get used to suffering in silence.

"We wanted to show people that they're not alone with the TV show."

Here, we talk to those living with some of Ireland's most taboo health troubles.

How Healthy Are You? starts on TV3 tonight at 7.30pm

Irish Independent

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