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Cookies are left for Santa Claus every Christmas in nearly every home. How can he possibly eat all of them every year without getting type 2 diabetes? And if he likes them so much (for we know that he does), he would be eating even more at the North Pole! It would be a dangerous and life-threatening job for him...

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    $\begingroup$ Santa is eating tens of thousands of tons of cookies in one night. He’s not going to live long enough to worry about diabetes — he won’t even get through New Zealand before dying of over-eating. $\endgroup$ – Mike Scott Dec 27 '18 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ Xmas is about sharing so I can imagine Santa distributes these sugar free low cholesterol transfat free cookies to the elves and polar bears $\endgroup$ – user6760 Dec 27 '18 at 12:00
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    $\begingroup$ Relevant xkcd: xkcd.com/1464 $\endgroup$ – val Dec 27 '18 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ Who's to say Santa doesn't have diabetes? $\endgroup$ – BruceWayne Dec 27 '18 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ Guess what the sleigh runs on... $\endgroup$ – Harper Dec 29 '18 at 4:50

11 Answers 11

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It's very simple. He puts them in his sack. Whenever he leaves a present under the tree, a space is left in his sack. There is plenty of room for cookies. When he gets back to the North Pole he distributes them among the elves as a reward for all their hard work.

EDIT - As someone pointed out, the question asks that Santa himself eats the cookies. Therefore (as I mention in a comment below) he still puts them in his sack but he selfishly eats them himself, over the course of the following year. After all he has to eat something when its not Christmas. The elves unfortunately have to make do by killing and eating the occasional reindeer.

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    $\begingroup$ :-) I would also point out that the sack (and/or sleigh) must be something of a Tardis, much bigger on the inside, with an anti-gravity mechanism; in order to hold presents for the billion or so people that celebrate Christmas and transport them all in something as small as a compact car. It may have space for an infinite number of cookies. And milk! $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Dec 27 '18 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ Exactly what I was going to point out. Who is to say he actually eats the cookies. $\endgroup$ – Tyler S. Loeper Dec 27 '18 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Amadeus Your count of a billion or so people is based on the potentially erroneous assumption that he actually visits every appropriately inclined household. The existence of a naughty list and a nice list does not automatically mean that the union of those two lists is identical to the set of all possible people. (In other words, most people may actually be on neither list, and Santa only visits the exceptional people that make his two lists.) $\endgroup$ – T.J.L. Dec 27 '18 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer, but part of the worldbuilding here is that Santa eats the cookies. That's the premise of the question. $\endgroup$ – Chan-Ho Suh Dec 29 '18 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ He eats a few for the photo op, then puts the rest in his sack. $\endgroup$ – Mary C Jan 1 at 23:19
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Santa and his reindeer have to move at fantastic speed to fulfill their yearly duty, this has been solidly established.

Moving at that fantastic speed requires a lot of energy, and all the cookies Santa (and the reindeer) eat at each stop are barely enough to cope with the energy demand.

Long story short: you can't develop diabetes if you have no excess sugar in your blood.

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    $\begingroup$ You need a whole lotta cookies to accelerate like Santa does! $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Dec 27 '18 at 10:39
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs, not if you use, ahem ahem, milk plus to make the cookie dough... $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Dec 27 '18 at 10:45
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    $\begingroup$ e=mc2 ... There you go $\endgroup$ – NofP Dec 27 '18 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ Energie = Milk * Cookies² $\endgroup$ – Martijn Dec 28 '18 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ So Santa is like a big, fat hummingbird. $\endgroup$ – Mary C Jan 1 at 23:17
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I'll focus on one aspect of the question.

without getting type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a disease. It is caused by a lack of enough insulin to push the excess sugar into the body cells (especially the fat cells).

The answer with the least assumptions is that santa's pancreas is very good and healthy. It can produce tons of insulin without getting damaged or fatigued. There are people like that in the real world.

What does he do with all those calories? Climbing up and down all those chimneys. He might share the cookies, but that is speculation. The guy is fat and magical anyway.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah for some people it is true, but the point is: Santa is not sick. And even with insulin resistance (that every fat person has) the answer states that he makes enough insulin. Not a lot. Enough. $\endgroup$ – Mindwin Dec 28 '18 at 15:52
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As you may have read, Santa is an elf, as mentioned in this popular Christmas poem:

He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself

Elves have been known to eat cookies twice their size and gain no weight.

enter image description here

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Santa is Quantum

He is able to do this because Santa's magic is based on quantum mechanics.

He visits everyone's house and nobodies house, all at the same time. Additionally, he eats all of the cookies and none of the cookies all at the same time.

That's why it's so important that all the kids are in bed, or he can't visit them. If someone were to observe him or observe his absence, it would collapse the quantum state and he would either have only visited that one house or visited every other house but that one.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, the state could be collapsed locally so that he does not visit THAT house where his absence was observed, but still have visited all of the other houses. Hence why it is important to be in bed when he visits, or he won't visit at all. This assumes that he has some control over collapsing wave functions, removing some of the randomness from QM - hence magic (or sufficiently advanced technology). $\endgroup$ – cpcodes Dec 28 '18 at 0:31
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    $\begingroup$ @cpcodes Good point. Quantum mechanics + pseudo-science narative is confusing. $\endgroup$ – Alexander O'Mara Dec 28 '18 at 0:41
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A fun fact about Santa is that he is like a bear, except he hibernates the rest of the year except winter. So he has to eat a whole lot of sugar, fruit, or anything that the good boys and girls live to him so he can stay the rest of the year cozy in his north pole house.

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Santa is at minimum a being with access to some technology that lets him, travel faster than the speed of light without destroying everything he interacts with, keep track of every living human simultaneously with enough detail to judge weather they've been good or bad, fit through any space he wants, carry a toy for every child on the planet in a sack - while going faster than light speed mind you -, and the means of producing a toy for every child on the planet based on how good they've been and what they've requested.

Santa is very easily a being on par with or greater than Zeus, the Greek god of thunder. Santa can do whatever he wants. For all we know, Santa dilates time to fit his needs and has replaced\added several of his organs to synthesize all the nutrients he needs from milk and cookies. Santa could be taking several years from his side of things to deliver all of these toys. The milk and cookies could be the only food he has to survive. He could be eating a perfectly healthy diet, living at a perfectly healthy weight, for whatever species a Santa is.

tl:dr; Santa might as well be Thanos or Darkseid. Santa could easily be stronger and more cunning than both too. Santa eats what Santa wants.

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Technically Santa does not actually eat the cookies, although he does feed them to his Alchemist Delight 3000 Matter Warping 3D printer (AD3k). The cookies are raw material for the printer which is used to print all the toys Santa delivers. Because the Printer can transform the raw material into whatever molecular structure is required at the Point of Printing (POP) using Just-In-Time Quantum Transmutation (JITQT), most anything would do for raw material. The cookie and milk thing was just a convenient way to make sure something relatively consistent was on hand for processing. Santa used to use coal but it was pretty messy and heavy to haul around. This was also the reason bad children used to get coal in their stockings. It was really the same present they would have gotten had they been good, but Santa used it as a metaphor for the fact that the child had not put the effort into being a better person and so Santa had not put the effort into transforming the coal to a better present. Interestingly, the processing of the raw materials into presents uses energy created by a room temperature fusion pre-processor on the AD3k and, since the pre-processing generates far more energy than is required by the JITQT, the additional energy is piped back to power the sleigh. This used to generate a great deal of heat and so Santa had to run the feed line down the chimney for insulation against any heat damage. In recent years though, Santa's R&D team came up with a special super cooled cable made of Nb-Ti fibers in an aluminium and copper matrix that is flexible enough so it can be dropped through a window, door or ventilation duct.

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As I've pointed out elsewhere, Santa is not sequential, he's (massively) parallel. So just as you need to connect every machine in your Beowulf cluster to a power source, every instance of Santa needs a certain number of cookies, and there are a sufficient number of instances to consume all the cookies without ill effects.

*Note also that Santa is rather like a bear, in that those cookies he gets on Christmas Eve have to last him through the whole year.

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The cookies Santa eats don't go into his normal stomach, but into a matter converter that provides most of the energy to lift his sleigh full of toys and power the Tardis-like sack that pulls the right toy for the right child across the fourth dimension.

The preference for chimneys as home entry paths was to disguise the plumes of steam and smoke early versions of the process produced.

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Santa doesn't need to eat all the cookies. The non-believers just assume that the parents eat all the cookies while the children are in bed. Or the dog. And believers know it must be Santa and his reindeer.

And who's to say they aren't both right? Santa is the master of stagemanship. He uses the fact that perception and reality often blur to make his mystique what it is today. Who knows how many of the cookies Santa eats. 50%? 10%? .00001%? How can you determine the amount if all the cookies are gone and no one can give you an un-biased answer?

Santa knows how to make a name into a brand, and cookies are only the tip of the iceberg.

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protected by Community Dec 28 '18 at 11:47

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