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by Robert MacKay, Thursday, December 17, 2009 | Categories: Obesity

Jolly, kind, cuddly and nice to good children – what’s not to like about Santa, right? Well, apparently a better description would be obese, drunk, lazy and a dangerous drink driver, according to some rather Scrooge-like Australian researchers.

The team from Monash University in Melbourne have written in the British Medical Journal that Santa should be rebranded for a more health-conscious age. They believe images of him in advertising should be regulated because of the potentially harmful messages he conveys.

Santa has been accused of ‘promoting obesity’ by scoffing down all the mince pies left out for him by hopeful children.  Considering the number of sugary treats he eats, it’s surprising he is slim enough to fit into his sleigh at all, or that his reindeer are strong enough to lift him.

The paper also pointed out that by drinking all the glasses of sherry left out for him in the world, he would be swiftly over the drink driving limit. However this boozy monster does not even bother to wear a seatbelt.

He is also a prime candidate to spread swine flu around the world, with most Santa impersonators not getting a health check and then getting ‘kissed and hugged...by snotty-nosed kids’.

Dr. Grills, who authored the paper, has suggested that Santa’s pies be replaced with celery or carrot sticks. Perhaps an added benefit of this is that consuming that many vegetables would probably produce enough gas for the sleigh to be powered by farts alone, giving the reindeer a nice Christmas holiday.

It could also be argued that though, as Dr. Grills points out, his roof-top skimming, chimney-diving antics promote dangerous sports like free jumping and roof-running, he is showing that older people can still take up sporting hobbies, no matter what age or weight they are...

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