Porn icon Ron Jeremy wants you to get your blood pressure checked

Story highlights

  • Jeremy suffered an aortic dissection
  • A new film, "Ron Jeremy: Life After the Buffet," documents his life after
  • He says he wants to spread a message of good health

(CNN)Forget about Obamacare, Ron Jeremy has a plan to help get this country healthy.

"Why isn't there a nutrition resource teacher in our schools?" said Jeremy, who is a former teacher himself and has a master's degree in education. "There are plenty of Ph.D's and master's in nutrition who would love that job. Start with the young people."
"Mine is the best health plan of all because you wouldn't get ill at all," he added. "You are what you eat and imagine how many hospital beds that would free up."
    You normally don't think health and nutrition advice when you think of Jeremy, who is a bit of a pop icon thanks to his legendary career in porn.
    But an aortic dissection that almost killed him in 2013 left him wanting to get the word out that obesity kills needlessly, which he is doing in a new documentary "Ron Jeremy: Life After the Buffet" which is out on DVD, VOD and iTunes on May 5.
    In it the actor talks about the incident that led to two surgeries and a lifestyle change. An aortic dissection occurs when there is a tear in the wall of the major artery that carries blood out of the heart. The condition killed actor John Ritter and caused Jeremy to have to be rushed into emergency surgery in 2013.
    "I want to be the poster boy to get your damn blood pressure checked," he said.
    The porn actor said he comes from good genes with parents who were thin. His earlier movies attest to his trim and muscular physique.
    But high blood pressure has always been a problem for him and became even more of an issue when coupled with his love of food, he said. That, and the fact that he stayed active -- even hang gliding -- made it easy to ignore, he said.
    "I felt great being fat," he said. "It was just damned unhealthy."
    The actor said he resisted taking blood pressure medication as he worried that it might affect his, er, work performance. But all that changed after his brush with death.
    Now Jeremy, 62, is focused on getting fit, which includes a regimen of walks in Runyon Canyon near his Los Angeles home. He's lost some weight, he says but has a few more pounds to go to get to his goal of 190 pounds.
    "The thing about heaviness is you can't do a 12-step program, you have to eat," Jeremy said. "(Loving to eat) is one of the worst addictions."
    Not that the actor has exactly gone vegan, he said.
    "The doctors say you can do what you do, just in moderation," he said. "You can eat, but eat healthy, eat in moderation and you've got to exercise."
    The documentary came about after director Hedda Muskat stumbled upon Jeremy at a sex club while working on another project. Jeremy still does an occasional adult film and is as popular in Hollywood as many A-listers.
    And while he came close to death, the actor said he has always subscribed to the idea that living a good life and being a good person is the best thing you can do while being on this Earth. That was reinforced, he said, by conversations about God and religion with good friends like the late Sam Kinison, a former preacher turned comic who died in a car crash in 1992, and Jeremy's former "Surreal Life" costar, televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker who died in 2007 of cancer.
    "I've always been spiritual," Jeremy said.