Help Santa Lower His Cancer Risk

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Traveling around the world in a sleigh and going up and down chimneys surely burns calories and increases Santa’s heart rate, but is it enough to balance the millions of cookies and hot beverages he consumes every Christmas eve?

If the average cookie plate left for Santa contains one small sugar cookie (65 calories), a small piece of shortbread (40 calories) and one serving of hot cocoa (90 calories), the total calorie count is almost 200 calories.

Too many cookies and not enough exercise can lead to weight gain and an increased risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

Some physical activity can help anyone avoid weight gain during the holidays.  How much physical activity burns 200 calories?

  • Walk 3.5 mph for 45 min.
  • Low impact aerobics for 35 minutes
  • Ballroom dancing for 60 minutes
  • Hiking for about 25 minutes

If we’re going to leave a plate out for Santa, we can do him a favor with smaller cookies, maybe a piece of fruit and hot tea.

And those strategies can work for us throughout the holiday season.

Happy Healthy Holidays!


Author: Alice RD

Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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