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Bad Santa: Should St. Nick Slim Down?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 30, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Acting U.S. Surgeon General Steven Galston is telling St. Nick he needs to slim down in an effort to fight obesity in American children. Galson said, quote, "It is really important to the people who kids look up to as role models are in god shape. Eating well and getting exercise is absolutely critical," end quote.

But is changing the look of Santa rally going to encourage kids to slim down?

Joining us now, the president of National Action Against Obesity, Meme Roth. Meme, welcome. Good to have you with us.

MEME ROTH, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION AGAINST OBESITY: Thank you.

COLMES: So is this — I mean the surgeon general's job is to make sure we stay healthy, to preach from that pulpit.

ROTH: Right.

COLMES: So nothing wrong with saying — should we really slim down Santa, get a slim suit?

ROTH: Here's some information. Santa's having a rough year. He's maybe, what, 256 pounds.

COLMES: He's gone up in weight a little bit.

ROTH: Yes, the average Santa really is 256 pounds, and is about 5'10" or 5'9". That is obese, and really, it's close to morbidly obese when you're looking at 100 pounds.

COLMES: I know the traditionalist will weigh in in a moment. You know, Santa's supposed to — but he'll get down a lot more chimneys if he's thinner. Right? I mean, I would think that there's some — he's got to get into some tight areas.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Except your liberal, global-warming friends want to shut down chimneys so they have carbon offsets for their private jets.

COLMES: You never let up, do you?

HANNITY: Nope. I never do.

COLMES: You really don't. You just want to use Santa to beat Al Gore over the head. Can you believe that?

ROTH: We're talking about Santa right now. We're not talking about Santa from the old cartoons.

COLMES: Right.

ROTH: We're talking about this Santa. The fat Coca-Cola Santa.

COLMES: What is that? Is that the Coca-Cola Santa? Is that Diet Coke?

ROTH: This has been — let me just emphasize something. The Santa that we imagine is the one that advertising from Coca-Cola has cemented into our mind.

But I love this packaging. Let me tell you why. You may see a Christmas ornament...

COLMES: You came prepared with props and everything.

ROTH: But I see a warning label. Drink this, and look how your body will look.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Wait a minute. Hold on, hold on. Wait a minute.

ROTH: And his is about ten teaspoons of sugar in that alone.

COLMES: Excuse me. How are you going to get Santa to slim down?

This is empty! It's empty. You drank this. You drank this.

ROTH: You caught me. I drank it in the Green Room. You know, here's the thing.

COLMES: Go ahead.

ROTH: We're teasing about Santa. But we all agree obesity is an issue. We have 1.3 billion overweight people

COLMES: All right, but is Santa the role model? To say, if we see a thin Santa, kids are going to all of a sudden start eating better because Santa is?

ROTH: Here's the deal.

COLMES: Is Santa going to eat vegetables on Christmas Eve?

ROTH: Well, I think that we can agree that Santa's a marketing device...

COLMES: Going to be some coal in your stocking this year, I think.

ROTH: Santa's a marketing device that pushes, what, $470 billion in merchandise every Christmas in the states alone.

COLMES: Right.

ROTH: So I think we can agree that, hey, he's a marketing device that could be used to model, maybe, healthier living. And I can assume it's been a long time and maybe never since you've sat on the lap of a giant fat man, but he should be "ho, ho, hoing," not wheezing like Tony Soprano.

COLMES: Santa — Santa needs a big lap for all the kids to sit on.

HANNITY: Let me say something. You need to lighten up. And I don't mean that literally.

COLMES: You want a prop?

HANNITY: Yes, here. Thanks. In all honesty here, this is Santa Claus. Santa Claus is an old heavy, jolly old guy. So what?

Look, I agree with you. I have two young children. I make sure they exercise. I make sure they eat right. You know what? I don't give them much fast food. I don't give them trans-fats. I try and fed them a healthy diet.

ROTH: Right.

HANNITY: You know what? Sometimes you know what? I give them treats. Do you have children?

ROTH: Yes, and of course my kids get treats. I try to avoid the stuff that's full of chemicals. But...

HANNITY: Do you give them tofu or...

ROTH: You can go to decent places that don't have high fructose corn syrup and transfats.

COLMES: What would be a treat in your house?

ROTH: Cookies would be a treat, but not with transfat and not with high fructose corn syrup. As well as other things. But look...

HANNITY: You're getting a little too hung up on this. I think — I think what you've got to do is generally have a diet that is healthy for kids. We know that it is fruits, vegetables, limit the quantities, a good healthy exercise program.

You know what? We're not raising our kids to be Santa. And just because Santa's heavy doesn't mean they're going to be heavy.

ROTH: No, you make a great point. But even the associations, and there are associations for Santa Claus, they're telling their own people you're not just a little overweight. We're talking morbid obesity, which is not jolly. And they've asked them to be a little more careful and be responsive to the fact that the global obesity issue is a real problem.

HANNITY: One of the — recently, we've got friends of ours here from Orlando tonight. And the last time I was at Disney I did notice, on average, as Americans, we're a little heavy. And I'm right there in that category.

ROTH: No. Do you know that they had to revamp the "It's a Small World" ride?

HANNITY: I've got two chins. I've got a stomach.

COLMES: You want to play Santa at the Christmas party this year?

HANNITY: Thanks a lot, Colmes.

COLMES: But all they're trying to do is trying to be a little more responsible, that we do have an obesity crisis.

HANNITY: Everyone that's got an agenda has to attack Santa Claus. Why don't you make your case and leave Santa and the kids alone? How about that?

COLMES: Well, this is their own association is asking them to not be morbidly obese, just be a little healthier. That's all they're asking.

HANNITY: Let me tell everybody here.

ROTH: How about a Jack La Lanne Santa? You mentioned earlier, the guy's got a lot to do.

HANNITY: You attack Coca-Cola. I love Coca-Cola. I think it's a great product.

ROTH: Are you looking for an endorsement?

HANNITY: I like it. I drink it. And you know what?

COLMES: Is this a commercial?

ROTH: I know.

HANNITY: That's my new Christmas ornament, right here.

COLMES: There you go.

HANNITY: That's is. Thank you for being here, Meme. Appreciate it.

ROTH: No, thank you.

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