The Skinny On Santa: An Open Letter to St. Nick

By Elana Goodwin on December 23, 2013

Mention Santa Claus to anyone in the world and they immediately picture the bushy-bearded, red-suited, “Ho-Ho-Ho”-exclaiming, gift-bearing, and overweight Christmas icon.

Now, what’s wrong with this picture? It’s simple: Santa’s fat.

Maybe it’s time Santa lay off the cookies.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, about 35.7% of adults in the U.S. are obese while around 17% of children and adolescents are obese. With those kinds of statistics, do we really need such a prominent figure in children’s lives to be sending the message that being overweight is nothing to worry about? 

Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes; Santa’s at risk for all of these with his current lifestyle and choices. Between his high-pressure job of getting all the kids in the world their presents in one night (can you say “high blood pressure and heart disease?”), and eating the cookies and milk left out by hundreds of children for Santa to snack on to keep his stamina up (hello, diabetes), Santa’s on the fast track to burning out, and not even Rudolph’s red nose can help this kind of burnout.

The fact is that kids between the approximate ages of 3 to 12 all over the globe look up to Santa and probably put him as number one on their heroes list. So why can’t Santa be sending them a message about getting healthy and eating right? Parents face an uphill battle with their kids to get them to eat their fruits and veggies and not overindulge in sweets–Santa getting in shape and being an example to these youngsters could certainly help out.

Looks like Santa could stand to lose a few pounds…

So up there in the North Pole, Santa, why don’t you turn your sweatshop–er, workshop–into an actual sweatshop? Why don’t you get yourself a treadmill or stair-master for Christmas? Why not send the message to kids that in order to be on the “nice” list and not the “naughty” one, they need to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise?

So Santa, my wish for Christmas this year, even though I’m Jewish, is that you take care of yourself. Buy yourself some exercise machinery to help you tone up and slim down. Hire a personal trainer. Cut back on those cookies. Go running with the reindeer or maybe play some tag with the elves. I’m sure kids for years to come will be happy you’re sticking around, and parents will thank you for your positive message to their kids. Being overweight doesn’t have to be part of your image and in fact, shouldn’t be, as you’re a role model to many.

Santa, you’re my hero and I thank you for your services, though I personally never benefitted from them. I only wish there were less of you to love.

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