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Washington, Dec. 16: A geriatrician has taken a look at Santa Clause's health habits.

Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, dean of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, said that because Santa is probably more than 550 years old, a lot of people would say that growing older hasn't been a problem for him, asserting that aging successfully means more than adding years to your life. Successful aging means you are adding life to your years.

He said that the 1823 poem, 'A Visit from St. Nicholas,' describes Santa as "chubby and plump" and, 190 years later, he still looks like he could lose a few pounds.

Cavalieri said that skipping some of those sugary snacks that kids leave for him would help Santa avoid the weight gain that could lead to conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Statistics show that 50 per cent of adults older than 65 has diabetes or prediabetes.

He said that Santa used to be seen with the "stump of a pipe...held tight in his teeth" while the smoke "encircled his head like a wreath," fortunately, he seems to have given up this habit and, explaining that no matter how old one is, quitting smoking immediately improves their health.

Cavalieri said that while late-night snacks can cause heartburn, the milk Santa drinks is a good source of bone-building vitamin D and calcium, adding that Santa should stick to low- or non-fat milk, and combine it with vitamin fortified foods and weight bearing exercises to keep his bones strong and limit his risk of osteoporosis. (ANI)

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