Where do they find these people? The Age runs a story (“Santa’s image is a big ho ho no“) on a local academic slamming Father Christmas for not living the healthy lifestyle! Dr Grills (who seem to want to put us all under the grill and on the treadmill this Christmas):
Santa Claus should swap the brandy and mince pies for carrot sticks and start jogging to children’s homes instead of drink-driving his sleigh, a public health expert says.
Dr Nathan Grills, a fellow at Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine yesterday accused Santa of promoting obesity, smoking, drink-driving and other dangerous activities, and said his increasing popularity should be used to encourage healthy living instead.
After conducting a literature review of Santa’s links to public health, Dr Grills said Santa often appeared fat, sedentary, drunk and smoking a pipe when more responsible imagery would depict him running on a treadmill with a badge proudly declaring he had quit smoking.
Writing in a special Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, Dr Grills said that among other things, traditional images of Santa sent a message that obesity was synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality… Dr Grills said he was also concerned about Santa’s “roof surfing”, “chimney jumping”, disregard for road rules and tendency to drink-drive and speed. “Despite the risks of high-speed air travel, Santa is never depicted wearing a seat belt or helmet,” he said…
“The potential for Santa in his asymptomatic phase to propagate an infectious disease is clear,” he said.
My girls had a laugh about the “smoking a pipe” bit! (Actually, you don’t see may pipe-smoking Santa’s any more – and certainly no cigarette smoking Santas).