Have you ever seen that movie with Billy Bob Thornton? He works as a mall Santa Claus and set up robberies. THAT was a really bad Santa. The bad Santa I am going to talk about in this post is of a different sort though.
Recently, an article about how Santa Claus is a negative model for children around the world spread like wildfire. Titled “Santa Claus: A Public Health Pariah?,” the article was published in the leading health journal of the UK. It was written by Nathan Grills, an Australian epidemiologist. Here are some points raised in the article, courtesy of Newsweek:
“Epidemiologically there is a correlation between countries that venerate Santa Claus and those that have high levels of childhood obesity.” The researcher warns that the British tradition of leaving brandy along with the cookies means that Santa would be drunk-driving his sleigh. Santa’s behind-the-reindeer malfeasance also includes “speeding, disregard for road rules, and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping. Despite the risks of high speed air travel Santa is never depicted wearing a seatbelt or a helmet.”
It doesn’t take a genius to predict how people would react to this sort of article. From the four corners of the world, Grills has been grilled (no pun intended). People have made him the butt of all sorts of jokes.
The question that concerns me is this: based on Grills’ article, is Santa really a bad model (at least health-wise)? I’ll leave you with this: the article was a JOKE, alright? So get off your high horses, folks, and laugh it off. In the meantime, make sure you don’t get his girth over the Christmas holidays!