New role, same  lively opinions

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Three steps to better health

Healthwise, little things can make a big difference in people’s lives. Here are the top three, according to Jillian Michaels:

Go to the doctor. Get those routine exams: cholesterol readings, mammograms, paps smears. “The No. 1 thing to prevent or remedy disease is early prevention,” says Michaels. Short on cash? Scope out free clinics, state programs. “Do the homework, and get information.”

If it doesn’t resemble real food, pass. “If it doesn’t clearly have a mother or wasn’t grown in the ground, don’t eat it,” says Michaels, otherwise, “it probably will make you fat and it might make you sick.”

Break a sweat. Michaels doesn’t care if it’s walking the dog, dancing with your husband or taking a spin class. You need to be active. “Move your body. Shake your butt.”

Sue Ontiveros

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You know those questions you want to ask a doctor but don’t for fear you’ll sound stupid, yet you really, really want the answer?

Well, Jillian Michaels is gonna ask those and more in her new role with “The Doctors,” which begins its fourth season at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 on WCIU-Channel 26.

The internationally known health and wellness dynamo describes her role on the syndicated medical talk show as that of “superviewer.” Since she is the sole non-physician on the team — which also includes ER physician Dr. Travis Stork; obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lisa Masterson; plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgery expert Dr. Andrew Ordon; pediatrician Dr. James Sears, and the show’s other newbie, psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh — she approaches topics from a different perspective. For a lot of things, she’ll be the voice of the viewer.

The Emmy Award-winning show, which has been shooting since Aug. 11, already has given Michaels opportunities to be the outspoken, candid personality TV viewers will remember from her years on “The Biggest Loser.” In a segment on vasectomies, the gentleman involved looked uncomfortable, but Michaels was sure he had a question, and she was pretty sure she knew what it was. So, she asked what he was too embarrassed to question: “Does stuff still come out?” (The answer: Yes, and we hope you can figure out what “stuff” Michaels meant.)

During a recent telephone interview, Michaels says she also sees her role on the show as “helping motivate and mobilize others to reclaim their health.” She wants to get to the bottom of why people aren’t taking the necessary steps to be as healthy as possible. “Why aren’t you getting that mammogram, that pap smear, or [cholesterol testing]?” If the answer is financial, “The Doctors” will show viewers how they can find free or low-cost care. (But, the person will have to take ownership of the situation. “You’re gonna have to do your homework,” Michaels says.) If it’s that someone is afraid, that will be addressed, too. “Part motivational, part informational,” Michaels says, who thinks that her addition to the show will allow it to “tell more stories” and expand the human factor of medical/health issues.

“We’re connecting medical information to human stories,” says Michaels.

And look for some heated debate when the team takes on some of the hot topics of the day, everything from should recipients be able to use food stamps for soda and chips to should those who are overweight pay more for health insurance. Michaels, who’s always been a proponent of alternative medicine, is never shy about pointing the finger at the big guns — be it the government or food manufacturers — if she thinks they’ve done wrong.

“It’s going to be a very diferent show, very different ‘The Doctors,’” says Michaels, pointing out that “major fireworks are going to be happening.”

With Michaels as part of the team, get ready to rumble.