Editorial DECEMBER 2012

Santa Claus: Health Balance Sheet 2012


Boys and girls, it turns out Santa has not been so good this year…at least in terms of his health. How he made it to the ripe old age of 192 (approximate estimation) is a mystery, or as some would say a Christmas miracle! For years now he has been getting away with poor health behaviours, although they may finally be catching up with him! Having done the calculations for his current health status it is clear that something is going to have to change – he is quite literally a ticking health bomb! If he wants to make it to Christmas 2013 he is going to have to make some serious adjustments to his health balance sheet.


Assets (positive health aspects)

  • Currently still living
  • Strong social network and happily married
  • Officially quit smoking in 1994

Total Assets: Not very many at all….

Liabilities (negative health aspects)

  • Unhealthy weight (too many cookies)
  • Inactive (long sleigh commute, sleeping year round)
  • Alcohol abuse (namely whisky, sherry, and mulled wine)
  • Black lung (excessive chimney smoke exposure)
  • Allergies (triggered by pet reindeer)
  • Incompliant with basic sleigh safety gear (seatbelt/helmet)
  • Severe tooth decay (excessive coca cola consumption)

Total Liabilities: Currently in poor health and has many risky health behaviours


Equity (net health outcome)

The current net worth of his health is in negative figures and is set to decline rapidly over time. Santa’s health can be confirmed as being deeply “in the red” (which, coincidentally, is his favourite colour).


To get his health balance sheet out of the red Santa is going to need to make large adjustments to his behaviour and start taking his health seriously. Having already given up smoking, which was arguably his most dangerous health behaviour, Santa has proved that he is capable of meaningful behaviour change.  What he needs to do now is continue to make positive health changes. Wearing a seatbelt and helmet while riding in his sleigh, not eating all the cookies left out for him, laying off the alcohol and coca cola, and perhaps going for a little jog every now and again around the North Pole, etc.

Given that he is an important role model for children and adults around the world, making these changes is all the more important. By turning his behaviour around and becoming a positive role model, Santa can improve not only his own health but also the health of many others. What better gift could he give this year than that?



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