Known for her firm but fair approach to health and fitness, and following the success of her documentary Sugar Rush, Dr. Eva Orsmond returns to our screens tonight on RTÉ One with her new series, How to Live Better for Longer.
While many lifestyle shows focus on moving more and eating less, this programme aims to go beyond the gym and fridge; looking at the ageing process, attitudes to life, how the body ages, and the importance of social interaction. We sat down with the good doctor to find out more.
"Let's talk about sex," says Dr. Eva. It's 9:30am on a Thursday morning and we've just about said our 'good mornings' but the 53-year-old is ready to get straight to the point.
"If I just mention the word sex, people in Ireland are like 'oh my God, should I blush now or later?'. Even my own children - who are 21 and 23 and have been brought up in a quite different way compared to other Irish mothers in that we always openly talked about everything - even my son doesn't like to talk to about these things. I don't think he would even like to think that I could possibly have sex anymore," she laughed.
According to the Finnish-born medic, Ireland is still plagued with shame and awkwardness when it comes to the subject of sex and, although she believes things are improving with the younger generations, there is still a lot of work to be done if we are to live happier, more sex-positive, lives.
"The way I was taught in Finland was that sex is a normal, important, beautiful part of our lives. The new generation [in Ireland] are slightly changing but my sons have told me that their friends still feel like there is a taboo about sex and intimate relationships," she explains.
The straight-talking doctor runs a private specialist service, Orsmond Clinics, that offers a 'professional approach to the treatment of obesity' and, according to Eva, being overweight can negatively affect your sex life.
"[Sex] is one of the key things for a happy, balanced, life and to be happy in life. If you are in bad shape, very overweight and you don't have mobility, you're tired and you have low energy, you don't have the confidence in yourself. If you don't desire yourself, how do you think anyone else would desire you?"
We have no doubt that many would argue that being overweight does not equate to low confidence or low sex drive, but if someone is suffering from those symptoms, Eva suggests that they go back to basics - diet and exercise.
"I do think these things all interconnect; the social interactions, intimacy, the exercise, the diet. If you are overweight, if you are eating bad unhealthy food and not exercising then you have low energy levels and it's very hard to break free from that vicious circle. When you are tired, your natural reaction is to do the easy thing that doesn't require the most effort."
Throughout the show, Eva will sit down with professors, sex therapists, PHD students, professional athletes as well as a host of characters who are "walking the walk, not just talking the talk".
"I was interviewing these 'superheroes' in their 70s and 80s who are exercising and still going around as if they are in their 20s because they are in such great health, and the question is - are they superheroes or are just doing what we should all be doing?"
How to live better for longer will broadcast on RTÉ One at 9.35pm on Monday 13 and 20 May.
Catch up on the RTÉ Player here.