by Hedley Le Coin
A team of health experts have accused Santa of promoting obesity and drink-driving. They say a fat, tipsy Father Christmas with no regard for health and safety sends out the wrong message to children and they want to give him a makeover.
They propose a new image for Santa to ensure that his influence on public health is a positive one and say the tradition of leaving a glass of sherry out for Santa could be seen to promote drink-driving. 'With a few billion houses to visit Santa would soon be over the legal limit.'
Other dangerous activities he is accused of promoting include, speeding, disregard for the Highway Code and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping. They say: 'Despite the risks of high-speed travel Santa is 'never seen wearing a seat belt or a helmet either'.
The evidence provided reads
Speeding: Taking time zones into account, Santa has about 31 hours to deliver an estimated 700million gifts on Christmas Eve. To accomplish this, his sleigh would need to be travelling at just under 1,600km (1,000 miles) a second
Obesity: If he visits 156million homes and has a mince pie in each of them, Santa will consume 31billion calories - enough to keep him going for the rest of his life!
Drink-driving: Visiting households at a rate of 1,400 per second, Santa would be over the legal drink-drive limit in a flash if he downed a 25ml measure of sherry with each delivery. He would be more than 47million times over the limit by the end of the night
They also think that the usual mince pie left out for him should be replaced with healthy celery or carrot sticks and or no account should he climb down a chimney without a fire extinguisher, a safety harness or undertaking a risk assessment
They are further concerned that reindeer are being mislead into thinking it’s all for the kids, when they are simply accessories to these offences. 'Rudolf and his team should have a clause in their contract that would ensure that Santa observed all health a safety procedures failing which they could refuse to undertake their Christmas duties.' A Santa Clause, they say