SANTA Claus has been accused of acting in ways that could "damage millions of lives".
As the mythical man in red zooms around the planet delivering gifts, he is an unwitting promoter of obesity, unhealthy products, disease and even drink driving, according to an Australian academic.
"Other dangerous activities that Santa could be accused of promoting include speeding, disregard for road rules and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping," said Dr Nathan Grills, public health fellow at Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine.
"Despite the risks of high speed air travel, Santa is never depicted wearing a seatbelt or helmet."
Santa's "rotund sedentary image" also had the effect of making "obesity synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality" around the world, he said.
Children were also encouraged to leave out brandy, or other hard liquor, for a man who had to do a lot of travel and visit a lot of houses all in one night.
Amid a global swine flu pandemic, Dr Grills said most people who stood in as Santa impersonators were not required to undergo a health check - and they get "kissed and hugged" by a succession of "snotty-nosed kids".
Instead using a sleigh, Santa should be "encouraged to adopt a more active method to deliver toys - swapping his reindeer for a bike or simply walking or jogging", Dr Grills said.
Nå, men ingen verdensfjern doktor skal forhindre mig i at nyde andestegen i morgen og derefter se, hvad Julemanden har haft med til mig.
(H/T Kae via Paco.)