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How Healthy is Santa? A Doctor Weighs In

by Dr. Jen Caudle

Santa Claus is about 1,750 years old, and yet he's still delivering gifts to kids all around the world on Christmas. Pretty amazing, huh? Santa's job requires lots of stamina, and he will need to deliver gifts for many more years to come, so staying healthy is of utmost importance. As a family physician, here are my thoughts about his health:

1) Santa's Weight: I'm not quite sure what Santa's Body Mass Index (BMI) is, but he is likely overweight or obese. This puts him at risk for conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I recommend Santa eat fewer cookies and instead eat a diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains.

2) Santa Has Kicked His Smoking Habit: Yay Santa! In years past we have seen Santa smoking a pipe, but more recently he doesn't seem to have his pipe- which is AWESOME! Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, COPD and so many other conditions. Quitting smoking is definitely one of the best things he could have done! (PS- if he did continue to smoke he might have been eligible for lung cancer screening with a low-dose CAT scan).

Santa's Sleep: We know that the night before Christmas Santa is up all night delivering presents to kids all around the world. My guess is that he's probably pulling all-nighters at other times throughout the year to get the gifts ready. I definitely want Santa to get more sleep because we know that "chronic poor sleep may increase the likelihood of developing dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and even cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries, and prostate."

4) Santa & Exercise: Santa probably racks up thousands of steps each day when he's in his workshop at the North Pole. When he's delivering gifts on Christmas he likely gets TENS of thousands of steps, which helps his heart, blood pressure and so much more. In addition, climbing up and down chimneys is a weight-bearing exercise which is great for his bones and helps prevent osteoporosis.

5) Santa is An Animal-Lover: We know that Santa loves his reindeer and that's not only good for the reindeer but it's good for Santa's health. Animals provide companionship, help reduce anxiety and so much more!

Overall, while there are many things Santa can improve on, there are many things he's doing right!

Happy Holidays,

Dr. Jen

Dr. Jen Caudle is a board-certified Family Physician, Associate Professor at Rowan University, tv health expert, and video creator. Sign up to receive Dr. Jen's Daily Health Tips to get daily emails (Mon-Fri) with health information you can use to live a healthier life. Follow her on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

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