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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 12/24/2010

Is that right? Santa should shed 50?

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

It seems to me that suggesting Santa lose 50 pounds this soon before Christmas is risky business. But that didn't stop about 60 of 100 U.S. physicians recently surveyed in a "Holiday Healthcare survey" conducted by the big Asian bank CLSA.

The survey, the brainchild of one David Maris, the New-York-based pharmaceuticals analyst for CLSA, probed physicians (100 general and family practitioners) on a number of pressing holiday-related matters. To wit: Which group is likely more healthy, the ten lords a-leaping or the nine ladies dancing? 60 percent said the ladies dancing, citing the aerobic benefits of dancing. Some of their other answers are equally debatable. For instance, when asked what a person should you do if he wakes up to find six inches of snow has fallen? 71 percent of the docs suggested getting out there and shoveling as a means of getting some exercise, while just 29 percent said to let it melt away so as to avoid an injury. That lopsided response is surprising in light of the risk of heart attack for people who hop out of bed and overdo it with the shoveling.

Equally curious was the doctors' stance on traditional holiday treats. Asked which was the most healthful choice among fruitcake, figgie pudding, candy canes and eggnog, 34 percent picked fruitcake, while just 23 percent went with candy canes. I think I would vote for candy canes.

A bit of politics crept into the survey: When asked who is likely to find a lump of coal in his stocking, 42 percent tagged President Obama's health-care advisers. One respondent wrote, "They were naughty, and they know it." 40 percent of respondents said managed-care CEOs deserved those lumps of coal. But back to Santa. While a whopping 60 percent of those surveyed said the right jolly old elf needed to lose 50 pounds or more, and 32 percent said he needs to shed more than 75 pounds, just 20 percent gave the right answer. Which is of course that Santa is perfect just the way he is.

Have a safe and healthy holiday, dear readers!

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | December 24, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Cardiovascular Health, Family Health, General Health, Is That Right?, Nutrition and Fitness, Obesity, Weight loss, heart failure  
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Posted by: karenduffy25 | December 25, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

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