Saying he knows “what Princeton life is like” as a Princeton parent and uncle, Dr. Mehmet Oz — surgeon, talk-show host, and author — told students March 8 his prescriptions for mental and physical health.
Speaking to a full house in McCosh 50, Oz touched on issues of addiction (“you need to prove to people that they’re worth it”), anger (“hostility breeds isolation”), and sleep (“if you take more than 18 sleeping pills a year, it will affect your mortality”). He also acknowledged how he coped with stress as a Harvard undergraduate: “alcohol.”
“The best example of mental illness in this country,” Oz said, is our “weight issue,” which he connected to chronic stress. Obesity is the “main health-care cost we can change,” he said, adding that “people don’t change based on what they know. People change their minds based on how they feel.”
The talk was the most well-attended of a week of activities devoted to improving students’ mental well-being (see also On The Campus, page 18). Other events included mental-health screenings, a lecture on the importance of sleep, free fitness classes, and stress-relieving “cookie events” offered by 22 departments.