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)

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


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published


NICE moves CVD advice closer to QOF and updates treatment escalation options

NICE draft guidance on cardiovascular disease backs a new target for lipid levels...

GP surgery sign

GP alert system shows practices under major pressure

General practice has moved up to an 'OPEL 3' pressure rating nationally with two...

Podcast: How making your practice a better place to work can improve patient care

Sheffield GP Dr Ben Allen explains how focusing on staff and improving his practice's...

X-ray sign

Spike in TB cases prompts public health warning

Cases of TB in England have risen by 7% compared with last year, prompting a warning...

COVID-19 vaccine

GPs demand investigation as winter vaccine 'mismanagement' risks patient safety

GP leaders in England have demanded an investigation into 'mismanagement' of this...

Medical centre sign

GP 'engineering' fears as small practice contracts offered on branch-only basis

GP leaders have raised concerns over the 'engineering' of general practice after...