Monday, 21 December 2015

The real reason Santa and the rest of us will pile on the pounds this Christmas

It’s the time of year when we all like to overindulge – and Santa Claus is no exception. With all the mince pies and brandy on offer from the world’s children as he makes his present deliveries, Santa will consume well above his daily allowance of calories this Christmas season.

Santa won’t be the only one piling on the pounds. A recent survey for personal genetic testing company 23andMe found that 1 in 10 of us expect to put on a whopping half a stone over the Christmas period.

The average person expects to consume around 1,000 calories in their Christmas dinner alone, while 17% will consume up to 10 alcoholic drinks on Christmas Day.

Exercise is not a part of the Christmas routine for many either, with 39% of those surveyed revealing they will do little or no exercise until January.

Though the New Year tends to signal new starts, when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, 29% of us break their resolutions before the end of January. Eating healthily and getting fit are the first things to go, for various reasons including losing incentive (40%), January being depressing enough (35%) and lack of willpower (32%).

The choices we make every day can have differing impacts on their risk for disease, depending on personal genetics. While most know the importance of proper diet and exercise, being armed with information about personal genetics allows you to make informed health and lifestyle decisions specific to you that can have a major impact on your wellbeing. Data shows that 72% of people studied reported making positive changes in their health behaviour relating to their dietary pattern, whilst 61% made positive changes to their exercise habits.

Taking a 23andMe test can tell you how you might respond to diet and exercise. In addition, 23andMe provides information about 11 genetic risk factors, 43 inherited conditions, and 41 traits, along with 11 reports on drug response. If you tend to reach for second helpings, 23andMe’s reports on eating behaviour may also shed some light.

As the festive infographic depicts, Santa Claus could be at risk for a higher than average BMI among other things, and has managed to swap the mince pies for a bite of Rudolph’s carrot and slimmed down enough to glide down chimneys with ease. He has also skipped the sleigh rides during the summer, replacing them with healthy jogs around his toy factory instead.

A 23andMe test can be bought online at or in store at Superdrug.

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