AT Home with Dr Chris Steele - September 2011 - (Page 34)
| THe BIG INTerVIeW|
A stAlwArt on ItV1’s This Morning sofA, Dr ChrIs steele CelebrAtes 25 yeArs As the show’s resIDent GP thIs sePtember. he tells DePuty eDItor, Jo wIllACy, whAt he’s leArneD oVer the yeArs AnD the heAlth messAGes he hoPes he’s tAuGht mIllIons of VIewers
I’ve been to funerals of girls aged 23 – dead because they were refused cervical smears as they were under 25. With one of my very first tweets I posed the question, “Are you under 25 and have you been refused a smear?”. The number of replies went berserk. I immediately realised what a brilliant platform Twitter is to educate people about medical issues.
‘I began asking myself, “Who’s using Twitter?” It dawned on me that it was mostly young people. I’ve been campaigning for cervical smears for women under 25 for years, and it was the realisation that young girls use Twitter, that finally got me on there.
034 | SEPTEMBER 2012
I’ve always known TV is very powerful – I can sit there and educate one and half million people in five minutes, but Twitter can get to millions worldwide in an instant. ‘A lot of young women were very vociferous about the smear issue and suggested we hit celebrities about it – I don’t even know who these women were, I just had their names, but we worked through the night, and the next day, sending out tweets
Words: Jo Willacy | PhotograPhs: Neil Cooper
fter nearly a quarter of a century on the famous This Morning sofa, and four decades as a GP, Dr Chris Steele knows a thing or two about health. And one thing he’s learned is that health is a numbers game. Be that knowing the measurement of your waist in inches, finding out what your cholesterol level is, and making sure you walk for 15 minutes every day – or most recently, for Dr Chris, ensuring he can communicate an important health message to millions, via Twitter, in 140 characters. Despite an initial reluctance – ‘I thought it was all a case of, “Got up this morning and yawned”’– Dr Chris eventually hit the social media world running.
to celebs. I even created a mini website, Too Young To Die (www. too-young-to-die.co.uk) and the women who were supporting this campaign suggested doing a Twitition – a Twitter petition. Overnight, it got into the Top 10 of all the petitions on Twitter.’
‘I’ve been campaigning for cervical smears for women under 25 for years. This got me on Twitter’
Dr Chris still feels passionately about the issue. ‘In this country, at aged 20, you’re too young for the cervical smear on the NHS and you’re too old for the cervical vaccine. If a 20-year-old went to her GP and he did a smear for you, it would go to the hospital, they’ll look at the date of birth and it goes in the bin – they don’t even look at it. It’s crazy because if you live in Scotland or Wales you get a smear from the age of 18. The reason for not doing smears on the under-25s is that they cause more harm than good! It’s claimed it can affect your ability to have a pregnancy – show me the evidence. You might damage the cervix, but only if you have treatment; the smear doesn’t do that. And, let’s face it, you can’t have more harm than death.’ >
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Dr Chris Steele - September 2011
A DOCTOR’S WELCOME
SAVE THE DATE
A SENSITIVE TOUCH
UNDER THE HOOD
CELEBRITY HEALTH SECRETS
THE BIG INTERVIEW
WHAT A MARVEL
OUCH, THAT HURTS
A HAPPY HEART
WAVE GOODBYE TO SMOKING
THE LOWDOWN ON DIABETES
HARD TO STOMACH?
ARTHRITIC AND UNDER 30?
BOOST YOUR BONE DENSITY
TRYING TO CONCEIVE?
ON THE BALL
CAN HE BREAK HIS PENIS?
TIME FOR A TOP UP
ULTRA SWIFT SUPPERS
SO, YOU THINK YOU’RE EATING RIGHT?
GLUTEN-FREE FOODS ON TEST
AGE-PROOF YOUR FACE
TOP HEALTH TIPS
DON’T SWEAT IT
AT Home with Dr Chris Steele - September 2011