06 DECEMBER 2013
If Santa Claus was to drink a glass of sherry or port in every house in the UK this Christmas, he would gain over 263 tonnes in weight – almost 22 double decker buses.
In order to burn this off, he would need to run for 146,666 days – the equivalent of 782,218 marathons.
He would also consume more than one million litres of alcohol – equal to nearly 24 million units – according to alcohol education charity Drinkaware.
It serves as a reminder that while the festive season may involve drinking, it should not be an excuse to drink to excess, as the impact on their health and waistline is very hard – and in some cases impossible – to undo.
More Drinkaware research carried out by ICM highlights the temptations and pressures to drink more at Christmas.
More than half (53 per cent) of Brits say they plan to drink more in December than any other time of the year and of those people, over a quarter (27 per cent) admit it's a time when they think they can drink as much alcohol as they like without feeling guilty.
One in five say they drink more because they felt encouraged to do so by friends, colleagues and family.
The amount of calories in alcohol is something many people might not be aware of. For example, a glass of mulled wine contains 141 calories, which is as many calories as three pieces of chocolate orange and takes 17 minutes of swimming to burn off. Instead, try a slimline gin and tonic, which contains only 50 calories.
"While no-one is going to drink as much as Santa this Christmas, these findings highlight how overindulgence adds up quickly," said Professor Paul Wallace, Chief Medical Adviser of Drinkaware.
"The best option may seem like the most obvious one - drink responsibly and stick to the lower-risk guidelines so you won't risk damaging your health - and you won't have to work as hard to burn off the calories in the gym the next day.
"Alcohol negatively affects your metabolism so the body burns calories at a slower rate compared to when no alcohol is present. When drinking, the body prioritises the breakdown of alcohol over the absorption and release of essential nutrients, so a heavy drinking session will slow down the amount of calories you’re able to burn off at the gym the next day."