Father Christmas is a bad role model because he encourages drink driving, risk-taking and obesity, according to a top doctor.
Public health expert Dr Nathan Grills says Father Christmas must be over the limit while driving his sleigh after all those beers, brandies and sherries – and he doesn’t even wear a seatbelt.
He also says Santa is overweight and blames the mince pies and alcohol left out for him by families worldwide.
Dr Grills was assessing the negative impact of Santa’s image on public health in a tongue-in-cheek article in the British Medical Journal.
"To create a supportive environment for Santa’s dieting we should cease the tradition of leaving him cookies, mince pies, and milk, brandy, or sherry," he said. "This is bad not only for Santa’s waistline but for parental obesity.
"Santa might also be encouraged to adopt a more active method to deliver toys – swapping his reindeer for a bike or walking or jogging."
Dr Grills added: "Other dangerous activities that Santa could be accused of promoting include speeding, disregard for road rules, and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping."
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