While Santa gets away with a belly shaking like jelly, Australians are being urged not to over-indulge at their Christmas feasts.
Think twice about going for seconds or having that extra helping of pudding, says Australian Medical Association (AMA) president, Professor Brian Owler, as the nation’s waistline continues to bulge.
People can still have fun without putting on kilos which, he says, may prove to be difficult to shift and increase the risk of weight-related health problems.
“With tables full of food like roast meats and vegetables, bread, gravy, dips, and decadent desserts like pudding, pavlova and cheese cake, the temptation can be to keep on eating,” Mr Owler said.
“Add in some beer, wine or the occasional Christmas cocktail, and the calories can quickly add up.”
A moderately active adult needs about 2000 calories a day, but some people will consume up to three times that much on Christmas Day – much of which will end up being stored as fat.
Almost two-thirds of Australian adults and more than a quarter of children are overweight or obese, and almost a half don’t do enough exercise.
Excess weight is a major risk factor for conditions like cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
AMA’s Christmas Day Tips
* Drink lots of water, including to help space out alcoholic drinks
* Substitute high calorie cream with low-fat dairy or yoghurt
* Use vegetable sticks instead of chips with dips
* Replace the post-Christmas lunchtime nap with a walk or a game like backyard cricket
* Give gifts that promote healthy eating and exercise.