Can you ever imagine a Santa Claus without his round belly? Well, you better start because a shopping centre Santa is refusing to stuff a pillow up his suit, as he believes it promotes child obesity.
The 80-year-old Bill Winton has said that children think of Father Christmas as a chubby role model and they grow up believing that it is ok to be fat and unhealthy.
Advertisement"Just last week, I had a couple of children on my knee and was left with sore legs because they were so tubby," the Daily Record quoted Winton, as saying.
"I now refuse to stuff a pillow in my suit as it doesn't set the right example to kids.
"A lot of people say to me, 'Why are you not fat Santa?' I tell them I am trying to promote healthy eating in a bid to tackle child obesity," he added.
Bosses at the Westside Plaza shopping centre in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh backed Bill's stance.
Manager Alex Limond said: "Santa should be a role model. If he can't persuade kids to be healthy then no one can."
The Scottish government backed Bill.
"It is nice to hear that Santa is staying off the mince pies," the government said.
However, the Paisley Centre are trying to fatten up their Santa by giving him free food and beer.
Director Andrew MacKinnon said: "The idea of a skinny Santa is ridiculous. Kids won't believe Santa is real if he is skinny. Anyone who thinks any different should get a life. Our Santa has to be fat and if he isn't then he will be sacked."
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