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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Does St. Nick have type 2 diabetes?   (December 24, 2008)

The famous Christmas poem, "A Visit From Saint Nicholas," describes the gentleman we now call "Santa Claus" in great detail:

"a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick...
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
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..."

[A discussion of the author, Clement Clarke Moore, and a link to the complete poem may be found at The New York Institute for Special Education.]

For years, I've wondered whether St. Nick might have type 2 diabetes: he's elderly (the right age group for diabetes), obese and a smoker (two more risk factors for diabetes). But whether he has type 2, or is at high risk, I guess I'd be a Grinch if I advised parents to tell their kids to not leave milk and cookies for Santa Claus. (Maybe, however, he needs a bailout this year?)

Oh well. Let me end this nonsense by simply repeating C.C.Moore's closing line from the poem:

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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