Santa's love of mince pies promotes an unhealthy lifestyle

The image of Santa Claus snacking on mince pies and riding on a sleigh promotes obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle, a public health expert has warned.

Dr Nathan Grills writes in the Christmas issue of BMJ that Santa should slim down (Photograph: SPL)
Dr Nathan Grills writes in the Christmas issue of BMJ that Santa should slim down (Photograph: SPL)

Writing in the Christmas issue of the BMJ Dr Nathan Grills, from Monash University in Australia, says that Santa should swap his reindeer for a bike or walk and ditch the mince pies in favour of fresh vegetables.

After conducting a review of literature and web-based material to assess Santa's potential negative impact on public health, Dr Grills found that Santa encourages not only unhealthy foods but also promotes drink driving.

The tradition of leaving Santa Claus a brandy to wish him well on his travel, with a few billion houses to visit Santa would soon be over the limit, says Dr Grills.

While more research is needed before calling for authorities to regulate Santa's activities, Grills proposes a new image for Santa — a slimmed down version on a treadmill.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Proportion of NHS GPs trained in EEA stabilises despite Brexit uncertainty

Proportion of NHS GPs trained in EEA stabilises despite Brexit uncertainty

The proportion of NHS GPs trained in the EEA has stabilised after a steady decline...

GPs split on calls to suspend appraisal for duration of pandemic

GPs split on calls to suspend appraisal for duration of pandemic

Senior GPs are divided over calls for appraisal to be halted for the rest of the...

GP fears rising over covert recording of consultations in pandemic

GP fears rising over covert recording of consultations in pandemic

Fears over patients covertly recording consultations have increased among GPs since...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

Care home vaccination to begin as Scottish minister says Pfizer vaccine packs can be split up

Care home vaccination to begin as Scottish minister says Pfizer vaccine packs can be split up

Vaccination of care home residents against COVID-19 will start on 14 December in...

How will the COVID-19 vaccination programme get underway?

How will the COVID-19 vaccination programme get underway?

Following the MHRA's approval of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 jab the government has...