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Santa delivers to the homes of the 7 billion people on Christmas night, eating cookies and milk at each of the homes.

Provided each home puts out a glass of milk and 3+ cookies, that's a lot of milk and cookies.

How does Santa avoid having heart attacks from bad cholesterol caused by all the cookies and milk?

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    $\begingroup$ I think the greater risk would be diabetes, or if he is constrained by the laws of physics in such matters, extreme obesity. Leads to an interesting additional question... Does Santa use the bathrooms in the houses he visits, or does he have to fly back North after every 100 houses or so? $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Dec 27 '15 at 0:40
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe his magic involves turning the energy from thousands of tones of milk and cookies into thrust… $\endgroup$ – bjb568 Dec 27 '15 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ Considering how fast he would need to move cholesterol would be the least of his worries. The G forces he would have to experience would be the biggest problem for him. $\endgroup$ – Anders Gustafson Dec 27 '15 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ Sumo are generally obese(avg BMI is dangerously overweight) but most of them are much healthier compared to majority of skinny population. Looks can be deceiving so always check it's contents🎅 $\endgroup$ – user6760 Dec 27 '15 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ There's a massive difference between balanced meals and binge eating around 21 billion cookies in one night $\endgroup$ – Quill Dec 27 '15 at 5:15

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If Santa ate all that, he'd be packing on the pounds way more than he already is (and Santa is not a lightweight now). Since nobody's reported a 2-ton Santa, there must be another explanation.

Santa's metabolism is really, really souped up. This makes sense; even though he's not doing the hard job of flying the sled at supersonic speeds, he's zipping up and down chimneys at a high rate of speed, hauling a substantial sack of toys (and coal) with him on each trip. Between the exercise and his supernatural metabolism, the milk and cookies never had a chance to do him much harm.

Also, have you heard the horrifying news? In some parts of the world health-minded people have been putting out skim milk and sugar-free cookies, and there's a trend in California to replace it all with water and carrot sticks. Santa hates that, but he still gets enough good stuff that he hasn't responded with truckloads of coal.

Alternatively: we only know that the milk and cookies disappear; you assume that Santa is eating them on the spot, but you don't actually know that. He's got a whole gang of elves who have burned the midnight oil to prepare him for his big night. The least he could do (since he's probably not handing out Christmas bonuses) is to bring back some cookies! And maybe he even carries a jug of holding in his sack of holding, to collect milk he doesn't drink on the spot.

(Also, probably not 7 billion people, but after the first billion the dietary impact doesn't make that much of a difference.)

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  • $\begingroup$ hard work and fast metabolism don't burn away excess cholesterol....Santa might not be at risk of weighting 2 tons but can still have excess cholesterol and die of heart attack $\endgroup$ – Evi Jul 13 '17 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ Have you never played D&D? Never put a bag of holding into a bag of holding. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Jul 13 '17 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ The GMs in the games I've played have wisely never made bags of holding available. So I've only heard legends. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 14 '17 at 4:01
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Santa does not have an ordinary sleigh, he has a "Mr. Fusion" and a flux capacitor build into it. Instead of eating all cookie and drinking the milk, he uses it as fuel for the "Mr. Fusion".

Using this advanced technology it is no problem to deliver all presents in one night. After all Santa can go back in time with his sleigh. It is rumored he might also had a car and a train with similar technology. According to eyewitnesses he also used to be much skinnier when he started the business.

A super secret photo below:

(Attribution: JMortonPhoto.com & OtoGodfrey.com)

(Attribution: JMortonPhoto.com & OtoGodfrey.com)

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The origin of contemporary mass culture Santa is the Saint Nicholas of Myra who died in the IV century so I would assume that simply Santa is already dead and count his appearance during X-mass rather as miracle than physical presence. And I don't believe a few (×10ⁿ) cookies could do any harm to a saint during supernatural apparition.

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Per the latest research, dietary cholesterol intake has little long-term effect on blood cholesterol levels. Blood cholesterol levels seem to be determined more by genetic factors and overall level of physical fitness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16596800

So the answer is that he's got good genes (he must to have been alive this long) and that the fat is actually for insulation to keep him warm. He's in pretty good shape underneath it from schlepping hundreds of tons of gifts around.

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The only solution to the "Santa problem" I've ever seen that wasn't just "magic" right from the beginning is parallel Santas. There are actually millions of Santas that run out and deliver the presents in parallel. In this case, the cookie problem is resolved just as well as the travel problem. Each Santa has to eat a couple hundred cookies or so. They might not feel so good the day after, but it's at least within the realm of possibility.

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How does Santa do everything else, like flying reindeer, and keeping tabs on the moral fortitude of everyone on earth?
magic
That, or he has an extreme metabolism that requires him to maintain an obese physique to live, but that's kind of depressing to apply to Santa.

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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't his extreme metabolism strip the obese physique away after Christmas. Also I don't think magic is an acceptable answer. $\endgroup$ – Quill Dec 27 '15 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ Also the answers to your three points -> jets with reindeer paint jobs and the NSA $\endgroup$ – Quill Dec 27 '15 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ I can't really justify my use of magic as an answer, so I apologize. As for the loss of his fat after christmas, he lives in the North Pole where, normally, not many people can see him and verify if he is fat or not, besides his elves. $\endgroup$ – user16492 Dec 27 '15 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ We're talking about a guy that visits every house on Earth in the span of a day. Magic is absolutely a valid answer. Most people don't really grasp the scale here. For him to travel fast enough to visit every household within one day, the heat from air friction alone is going to vaporize the houses he visits. The question is not if we involve magic; we have to. The question is where we draw the line between what we want to explain and where we just start hand-waving. $\endgroup$ – GrandOpener Dec 27 '15 at 17:55
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The inside of Santa opens to a pocket dimension and whatever he eats simply goes there, adding mass to his parallel "self". The mass in the pocket dimension keeps growning and growning but even a few tens of thousands of tons extra a year doesn't change things all that much. For example, Santa's belly in the pocket dimension doesn't even have its own moon and it's many, many more (Earth-) years before the belly has any hope of starting fusion.

Santa in our dimension is just a convenient shell around the pocket dimension and eating the cookies and milk doesn't really add to his - already considerble - weight.

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Cholesterol doesn't affect Santa, because Santa doesn't eat them. In fact, that isn't Santa. Santa died long ago.

Fearing the effect this would have on the world, the elves created a Golem to take his place. Unfortunately, Santa's elves only had experience in making shoes, toys, and cookies. With the best intentions, they created an unnatural creature using Santa's body and the latest in cookie technology.

This body is inherently unstable, and also gets bitten by the reindeer a lot. The body must feed to replenish its mass. This is done through the ritual sacrifice of milk and cookies, a ritual whose meaning has been cleverly disguised as "snacks."

Without Santa's leadership, the North Pole has been struggling to keep with the latest technology. This can be seen by their inability to upgrade "Santa's Sleigh" to something more useful like a helicopter, and NORAD's ability to track "Santa."

The lack of Santa's oversight has also hindered the present selection. This is why you may receive presents you did not want.

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Santa doesn't actually eat the milk and cookies. The true solution is top secret and not to be shared:

Instead, your parents or other people in your household do so. You can test this by living alone and leaving out milk and cookies. They'll still be there the next morning. So it's whomever actually eats the cookies that experiences any negative effects on their health. Fortunately, these are distributed across a large number of people.

Santa just drops off presents. Or coal. As appropriate.

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Santa is not human and doesn't have a Liver

No liver means Santa can't produce enough cholesterol to survive so he has to get it from the food he eats

Santa also has an absurdly fast metabolism which means his body is filled with Testosterone which is made with cholesterol on daily basis so Santa is forced to consume disgusting amounts of animal products to survive.

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Santa is half-elf.

He's still too young / too magical / too immortal to be at risk of cardiac arrest.

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All these suggestions neglect that Santa lives at the North Pole year round and a human maintaining a healthy diet in that climate will consume 7,000 - 9,000 calories per day. Since a large belly is part of the image Santa has to sell, he would have to consume an even larger caloric intake than that and chocolate chip cookies would definitely help fill some of that staple diet, as would milk and other items left out by Santa (As for the carrots and water mentioned above, my family did that (and apples) but those were for the reindeer, not the big guy).

Also not mentioned is possible compensation towards the elves for a job well done. Perhaps excess chocolate chip cookies are given as holiday bonuses to high performing elves? Certainly seems more in character that Santa pays his employees rather than works them as a jolly ol' slave driver... Maybe elves are payed in yummy goodies rather than money like Oompa Loompas and coco beans and North Koreans and Moon Pies (I'm serious about that too... the North Koreans love the Moon Pie and on more than one occasion an influx has threatened to crash their entire economy.). It certainly seems reasonable for a people who believed proper medical dental care was a taboo until the 1960s.

Number wise, 7 billion cookies seems a bit excessive. Christianity as a whole only has 2.3 billion followers, 1/3 of the total seven billion. Secondly, the offering is made per household, not per individual person. The number is massive, but 7 billion is a stretch. While the true size of the take is unknown, we must also factor in non-christian households that participate along with Christian sects that do not participate and regional customs that have different gift rules and even differet delivery days (Feast of Saint Nicholas is Dec. 6th and some cultures do the gifts then with the 25th being purely about the Nativity of Jesus). Still other cultures don't do milk or cookies or both... for example, its custom in Great Briton to leave Santa a glass of Brandy rather than milk... which would explain why his nose looks like a cherry by the time he gets state-side.

Finally, everyone seems to forget about the true nature of Santa Clause, aka Saint Nicholas, who's patronage includes children and is famous for his secret gift giving. Perhaps, when the elves are paid and the year is stockpiled for, Santa will still have excess cookies... Knowing the man, such a waste of food would be terrible and it could be reasonable that Santa will use some of the Cookie take to give gifts to children who through circumstance would not be able to have a proper Christmas meal. I'm pretty sure the big guy won't mind if some of the people in the west even sent some of those cookies to the needy and cut out the middle man, since by the time he gets to North America, it's reasonable he had his fill for the night.

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First I want to say that 7 billions people doesn't celebrate christmas, it's only about 2 billions. Also I want to say that the cookies and milk aren't per person, they are per family (each normal family has 4 persons). And finally I want to say that in a lot of contries people don't put food or they but others things like chocolate or marzipan.

Respect

Santa doesn't eat cookies or drink milk, maybe he do that but he don't consume all the cookies and milk he gets, he only eat like a human, then he throw away the rest of the food so people get happy that Santa "eat" the cookies...

Squirell (Food for winter)

Santa doesn't eat the food in one day, he do like the squirells, they store food for the winter. Santa store all the cookies and milk in the bag when he drop the presents for the 364 remainings days of the year. I don't think that milk would rotten, he is the North Pole.

Gift / Food for they minions

Santa has a lot of minions (AKA: elves). He store in his bag the cookies (and in a tank the milk?) and when he reach to the North Pole he gift to his minions all the food for their hard work. Even he can feed their minions with only cookies and milk, see my calculations: $$ \frac{2,000,000,000 \text{ Believers}}{4 \text{ Believers/family}} = 500,000,000 \text{ Families}$$ $$ 500,000,000 \text{ Families} \times 3 \text{ Cookies} = 1,500,000,000 \text{ Cookies}$$ $$ 500,000,000 \text{ Families} \times 1 \text{ Glass of milk} = 500,000,000 \text{ Glasses of milk}$$ $$ \frac{500,000,000 \text{ Glasses of milk} \times 200 \text{ ml/glass}}{1,000 \text{ ml/litre}} = 100,000,000 \text{ Litres of milk}$$ $$100,000,000 \text{ Litres of milk} \times 1.032 \text{ kg/l} \times 420 \text{ Calories/litre} = 43,344,000,000 \text{ Cal}$$ $$ \frac{1,500,000,000 \text{ Cookies} \times 8 \text{ gr/cookie}}{100 \text{ gr}} \times 353 \text{ Calories/cookie} = 42,360,000,000 \text{ Cal}$$ $$ 42,360,000,000 \text{ Cal} + 43,344,000,000 \text{ Cal} = 85,704,000,000 \text{ Cal}$$ $$ \frac{85,704,000,000 \text{ Cal}}{365 \text{ days/year}} = 234,805,479.45 \text{ Cal/day}$$ $$ \frac{234,805,479.45 \text{ Cal/day}}{2,000 \text{ Cal/day}} = 117,402.73 \text{ Humans}$$ I don't know the dayly calories that need elves but Santa is capable of feed more that 100.000 humans only with cookies and milk! (And yes, I checked the water values of milk (87%), they won't die of thirst).
Also we can calculate the fat value: $$ \frac{\frac{1,500,000,000 \text{ Cookies} \times 8 \text{ gr/cookie}}{100 \text{ gr}} \times 16 \text{ gr/fat}}{1,000 \text{ gr/kg}} = 1,920,000 \text{ kg of fat}$$ $$ \frac{\frac{100,000,000 \text{ Litres of milk} \times 1,032 \text{gr/l}}{100 \text{ gr}} \times 1 \text{ gr/fat}}{1,000 \text{ gr/kg}} = 1,032,000 \text{ kg of fat}$$ $$ \frac{\frac{1,920,000 \text{ kg of fat} + 1,032,000 \text{kg of fat}}{365 \text{ days/year}}}{117.402,73 \text{ Humans}} \times 1,000 \text{ gr/kg} = 68.88 \text{ gr/day of fat}$$ 68.88 gr of fat per day don't kill anyone! They are healthy values! Well, for been exactly for a person who doesn't do physical activities it's bad, but not lethal. And if you want about their cholesterol amount: $$ \frac{\frac{1,500,000,000 \text{ Cookies} \times 8 \text{ gr/cookie}}{100 \text{ gr}} \times 3 \text{ mg/cholesterol}}{1,000,000 \text{ mg/kg}} = 360 \text{ kg of cholesterol}$$ $$ \frac{\frac{100,000,000 \text{ Litres of milk} \times 1,032 \text{ gr/l}}{100 \text{ gr}} \times 5 \text{ mg/cholesterol}}{1,000,000 \text{ mg/kg}} = 5,160 \text{ kg of fat}$$ $$ \frac{\frac{360 \text{ kg of choresterol} + 5,160 \text{ kg of choresterol}}{365 \text{ days/year}}}{117.402,73 \text{ Humans}} \times 1,000,000 \text{ mg/kg}= 128.93 \text{ mg/day of cholesterol}$$ 128.93 mg of cholesterol per day don't kill anyone! They are healthy values!

Biofuel

Santa use all the organic matter from food to make biofuel! He lives in the middle of nowhere (North Pole), How he get power? He can use biofuel in generators to produce electricity.
Like I said before he gets $85,704,000,000 \text{ Cal}$ in food. $$ \frac{\frac{\frac{85,704,000,000 \text{ Cal} \times 4,184 \text{ Joules}}{365 \text{ days/year}}}{24 \text{hours/day}}}{1,000,000,000 \text{ W/GW}} = 40.93 \text{ GW/h}$$ Enought to power several cities... for an entire year. Well, obviously motors and generators aren't 100% efficients so you can split the number in 2, also I am not sure if cookies can be rotten and turn in fuel...

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you take into account that a human traveling to the North Pole would have to consume about 7,000 - 9,000 calories per day to maintain physical fitness. And given Santa's public image is a man of some considerable bulk, he personally would have to consume a great deal more than that to maintain his marketed figure? It could still work out as elves may have different metabolisms than humans and would naturally consume less do to their smaller size. $\endgroup$ – hszmv Jul 18 '17 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @hszmv, About Santa calories that is nothing, I mean, instead of feed 117,402.73 humans would feed 117.399. And about elves, well, they doesn't exist so I can't calculate they daily calories needed to live but if they need less it's very simple change my calculation, that means more elves! $\endgroup$ – Ender Look Jul 18 '17 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @hszmv, If elves are humans and they need 8,000 Cal/day ((7,000 + 9000)/2) by the cold he can feed about: $$ \frac{234,805,479.45 \text{ Cal/day}}{8,000 \text{ Cal/day}} = 29.350,68 \text{ Humans}$$ That is a lot also. If you can say the weight, volume or size of elves I can calculate their nutritional dayly value using the Kleber Law. $\endgroup$ – Ender Look Jul 18 '17 at 15:19

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