Father Christmas is at risk of serious illness because of his bulging waistline and needs to cut down on the mince pies, doctors warned today.
A survey of shopping centre Santas in Scotland revealed an average waist size of 47 inches - seven inches more than is considered safe.
Dr Miles Fisher, consultant physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary said: "The image of Santa is of a round, jolly person and it is meant to be one of hilarity but if you have obesity around your tummy, then it is very bad for you."
"Before, we thought it was just not good to be overweight but now we know that having fat around your middle is particularly bad."
"That fat produces hormones, which have been associated with heart disease and other conditions."
According to health guidelines, having a waist circumference of more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women is a key indicator of abdominal obesity.
It is associated with a greater risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. And people who have rounder stomachs, known as "central obesity", are more at risk than people who are merely overweight.
Perhaps Santa should consider cutting back on the sherry as well.
(Taken from here after hearing about the story on a local radio station called The Wave).