Hottest Health Personalities of 2011

on December 19, 2011

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Oprah may have introduced us to Dr. Mehmet Oz, but he’s more than proven his mettle with a hit TV show, The Dr. Oz Show, and the bestselling YOU series of books (with colleague Dr. Michael Roizen). The two-time Emmy winner and cardiac surgeon often uses his popular show to explore the rapidly growing field of integrative medicine, which combines traditional methods with alternative therapies. But above all, he stresses the importance of a well-rounded diet and exercise as part of a whole-body approach to health.

Jillian Michaels

If Oz is America’s doctor, Jillian is our Personal Trainer. Though it was released almost 4 years ago, her 30-Day Shred DVD is still the top seller on Amazon, and her subsequent titles, including the just-released Extreme Shed & Shred aren’t far behind. Jillian left her star-making spot on The Biggest Loser earlier this year, but almost immediately signed on for TV gigs on The Doctors and Dr. Phil.

Jamie Oliver

The boyish British chef’s breakthrough TV series, The Naked Chef, didn’t necessarily focus on healthy cooking, though his emphasis on simple preparation and natural ingredients was a good start. But in recent years, inspired by fatherhood, he’s taken up the cause of nutrition in schools. In 2010 he brought the fight stateside, and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution won an Emmy for its portrayal of improving school meals in Huntington, W. Va. It was cancelled after its second season, but the chef crusades on.

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny made her name as one of the Real Housewives of New York though she was single and owned a natural foods bakery. The popularity of the show and its spin-offs (including Bethenny Ever After) has transformed her into a healthy-living guru, producing three books, two DVDs and a line of Skinnygirl low-calorie cocktail mixes. Her latest book, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life was praised for its personal approach to self-help.

Dr. Travis Stork

Another popular health personality who caught our attention on reality TV, this former Bachelor now hosts TV’s The Doctors, a spin-off of a popular Dr. Phil segment in which real-life physicians help break down medical news and advice. Late last year, Travis released The Lean Belly Prescription: The Fast and Foolproof Diet & Weight-Loss Plan From America’s Top Urgent-Care Doctor, which offers no-frills, no-fads advice. He continues to teach part-time at Vanderbilt University in the Emergency Medicine department.

Ellie Krieger

A former fashion model, Ellie says she’s always had a passion for nutrition. The registered dietitian has won tons of fans with her appealing approach to healthy eating. Her cookbooks, including the latest, Comfort Food Fix, celebrate delicious, familiar, family-friendly fare with a nutritious twist. Her TV show, Healthy Appetite, now airs on the Cooking Channel, and once a month she hosts a live Twitter cook-along at #CookWithEllie.

Jane Fonda

In recent years, it seemed clear that Jillian Michaels had assumed the crown of America’s home fitness queen. But the legendary Jane Fonda has made a spectacular comeback. Now 74, Jane has created a Prime Time series of videos (aimed at seniors but great all-around low-impact workouts) that are second only to the Shred series on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Bikram Choudhury

You may not recognize his name, but you’ve surely heard of his legacy. The Indian guru’s style of yoga, ideally practiced in a 105-degree room, earning the nickname “hot yoga,” is practiced in thousands of studios worldwide. Bikram himself is a bit of a controversial figure. His series of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises is copyrighted and the extremely wealthy teacher aggressively protects it in court, which some find at odds with yoga’s central philosophy. But he has undeniably influenced Americans’ perception of yoga and introduced millions to the practice.