Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Causes Obesity - Study Says

Yes, Santa has a belly, but so what?
Do we really want Santa looking like the skinny guy in the picture above.
If you can believe it, there is a study by Monash University public health expert Dr. Nathan Grills
(seen below right) who claims Santa is promoting obesity — and damaging millions of lives.

These experts say Santa should be used to promote a healthy lifestyle.
The study suggests that  Santa slim down by avoiding cookies, mince pies and milk, and snack instead on his reindeers' carrots and celery sticks.
"I wouldn't go as far as saying that Santa causes obesity - it's more about raising wider issues around advertising and public health," he said.
He also found a correlation between countries that celebrate Santa and large numbers of fat children.
"Santa promotes a message that obesity is synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality," Grills wrote.

More disturbingly, Dr. Nathan Grills also fears Santa also has the potential to spread infectious diseases, Grills said Santa's close-up contact with sniffling, coughing kids made him a one-man outbreak waiting to happen, with swine flu the biggest seasonal concern. "Unsuspecting little Johnny gets to sit on Santa's lap, but as well as his present, he gets H1N1 influenza," Grills warned.
Grills said he donned a Santa suit himself — and deemed the experience a public health nightmare. "I was kissed and hugged by snotty-nosed kids at each performance and was never offered alcohol swabs to wipe my rosy cheeks between clients," he wrote.

Dr Grills wants a public debate on Santa's image and whether his image should be associated with unhealthy foods.Given Santa's popularity Dr Grills argues that "Santa only needs to affect health by 0.1 per cent to damage millions of lives".
Our advice to Dr. Grills, public health expert extraordinaire: Oh, shaddup, you're getting a lump of coal.

We like Santa enjoying his bottle of Coca Cola.