Fat Santa a jolly poor role model
THE festive image of a fat, jolly Santa could be sending out the wrong message in the fight against obesity, experts warned yesterday.
Estimates suggest that obesity and related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes cost the NHS in Scotland more than 171 million a year.
But this is set to rise, with around 60 per cent of Scots already overweight or obese and likely to suffer future poor health as a result.
In a bid to raise awareness of the impact of abdominal obesity, drugs company Sanofi-aventis sponsored a poll of 40 Santas working in shopping centres across Scotland.
Research has shown that a waist circumference of more than 40in in men or 35in in women indicates an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In the poll of Scottish Santas, the average waist circumference was 47in, with the figure rising to 48in in Dundee and 51in in Edinburgh.
Dr Miles Fisher, consultant physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: "Santa is the archetypal picture of abdominal obesity."
He added: "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."
Later this week, Glasgow University is set to publish a report warning of the severe financial consequences of obesity on the NHS in the coming years.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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