And it’s not just Father Christmas who would suffer from health issues – his reindeers would be struck down with debilitating Lyme disease, too.
This is according to the head of the Royal College of GPs.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the RCGP, joked that leaving out mince pies for Father Christmas would contribute to his obesity, if he were a real person.
She claimed that Saint Nick could also be suffering from alcoholism thanks to his binge-drinking on Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen could be carrying ticks infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Prof Stokes-Lampard said: “He’s overweight and all of us do our bit to add to his obesity by leaving mince pies and cookies for him and milk or alcohol.
“He may have gout, he may have alcoholism – there’s a real bit of binge drinking going on.
“There are also issues with sleep deprivation, work stress, his mental health.
“Lyme disease is another potential one as reindeer can carry ticks.”
If passed on to humans, Lyme disease can have serious and debilitating effects such as loss of energy and muscle and joint pain.
Prof Stokes-Lampard said she would enforce a new exercise regime on Santa to help him shed the pounds, by encouraging him to run between houses on his Christmas Eve deliveries.
She also told how he could do more to set a good example by adopting a healthier diet – and giving up the sherry.
She added: “Although he sets a brilliant example of good behaviour and teaches the importance of giving rather than receiving, he could probably do more to encourage healthy lifestyles – something youngsters and adults alike can benefit from.
“Santa is almost certainly living with multiple morbidities which, if left untreated, can become increasingly distressing and debilitating.
“If Mr Claus was a patient at my practice, I would be encouraging him to adopt a vastly healthier diet and take more exercise in the new year.
“I’d also be keen to address his binge drinking, something which many people – perhaps even unknowingly – tend to do while celebrating Christmas.
“The human body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, which means excessive consumption could make Santa drunk very quickly.
“This not only increases the likelihood of him slipping in the snow or mixing up important presents, but could also lead to long-term issues affecting his mood and mental health.
“In the meantime, I would recommend that Santa gives the sherry a miss this year – and maybe asks Rudolph if he can share his carrots.”