Cable is peppered with shows aimed at augmenting viewers’ health and wellness. Some are for women, others target those looking to shed weight. But there are medical topics that are particularly germane to the growing baby boomer generation. And while the collective aging of the boomers has incited a ripple effect of relevant Web sites, the pickings are still relatively sparse on television. That’s why Healthline wins our top nod this year. Forget about Patrick Dempsey. For the 55-plus crowd, Healthline host Dr. Kevin Soden, who also hosts RLTV’s Whole Body Health, is the real Dr. McDreamy. A veteran emergency room physician and medical journalist, Soden exudes vast knowledge and excellent bedside manner during the daily half-hour series. Seated in a relaxed office setting, he probes topics ranging from hysterectomy to colon cancer to flesh-eating bacteria from both the medical and human perspectives. Soden uses plain language and ample diagrams to explain intricacies of various conditions, then guides his guests as they share their stories. A particularly poignant recent episode examined post-traumatic stress. The series’ goal is to arm viewers with the knowledge to take control of their wellness. With Healthline, they have a strong advocate in their corner.
National Body Challenge, Discovery Health: Since it debuted five years ago, National Body Challenge has not only provided compelling reality TV, it’s also inspired more than 2 million people to log in their weight loss challenge on the show’s Web site.