Posted by: 4pack | December 17, 2009

Obesity Debate: Is Santa Claus Promoting Obesity?…Let’s Stick To “Real” Issues

OBESITY IN AMERICA AND THE WORLD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE “MYTHICAL” CHARACTER THAT IS SANTA CLAUS…THE OBESITY DEBATE ERRS JUST AS MUCH ON THE PRO-HEALTH SIDE AS THE OBESITY APOLOGISTS SIDE….BUT SANTA SHOULD NOT BE PROMOTING ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES….

Santa Claus should snack on his reindeer’s carrots and get off his sleigh and jog as portrayals of the portly brandy-drinker promote obesity, drunk-driving and other unhealthy behaviors, an Australian doctor said.

The use of Santa in advertising should be regulated because images of him promoting alcohol and cigarettes convey potentially harmful messages, Nathan Grills, a public health researcher at Melbourne’s Monash University, wrote in the British Medical Journal. The red suit-wearing, white-bearded Father Christmas has become a “marketing ploy,” tarnishing the legend of Saint Nicholas and his gift-giving generosity, he said.

“He’s the most widely recognized fantasy figure in the world,” Grills said in a telephone interview today. “If he has such popular appeal, should he be advertising products like cigarettes, alcohol and obesity-linked foods?”

The tradition of leaving cookies, mince pies and brandy out for Santa on Dec. 24 to help sustain his nocturnal pre-Christmas toy deliveries should be stopped to improve the fictitious character’s diet and counter a global obesity epidemic, Grills said. The number of obese adults will swell to 700 million by 2015 from 400 million in 2005, spurring heart disease, diabetes and cancer, the World Health Organization estimates.

“Santa only needs to affect health by 0.1 percent to damage millions of lives,” said Grills, who referred to Web sites and previous studies to assess Santa’s potential negative impact on public health, including in India and China. “Like Coca-Cola, Santa has become a major export item to the developing world.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=afrhKn5lwlNk

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Responses

  1. PLEASE! You make me want to scream! We have a skinny Grinch. I don’t want Santa changed, thank you. If you want to promote good health, and have role models tell our athletes to quit druggin’ and committing adultery. At least Santa is still married to Mrs Claus, after all these years! And he works hard going up and down chimneys. Have you ever carried a sack of toys? He has to be strong and well muscled to do that! Believe me if has lived all this time, he must in fact, be healthy! Some people look fat, but are in fact, healthy!!

  2. i cannot believe the stupidity of some people.Yeah,childhood obesity is clearly,clearly caused by this.Not mcdonalds and fast food restaurants,not their parents feeding them crap.But THIS.
    Santa may like to eat mince pies and drink wine or whatever….but guess what! SANTAS ALSO MAGIC AND FICTIONAL.
    Some people need a serious kick up the backside.Dr Grills, you are , in fact, a complete idiot.Go put your ideas into something a little bit more worthwhile.
    Lets all become anorexic and fit down the chimneys because quite clearly,thats what kids do….along with DRIVING…??…..Here’s a little bit of info for you dr grill,its because of people like you,that when kids grow up,the magic is ripped out of xmas.
    Humbug.


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