Paging Dr. Kringle: Mall Santa Tells Overweight 9-Year-Old to ‘Lay off the Burgers and Fries’

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Now that the family has decided to go public with the story, allow me to play grinch momentarily and say that the kid could stand to lose a couple pounds. So could the mom, judging from her picture.

My intent here is not to perpetuate the family’s agitá over their unpleasant truck with Santa Claus (more on which presently), but merely to point out the findings of report released today by the National Center for Health Statistics, which notes that life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for the first time since 1993. The biggest contributing factor to this trend? Lifestyle diseases:

The overall death rate rose 1.2 percent in 2015, its first uptick since 1999. More than 2.7 million people died, about 45 percent of them from heart disease or cancer.

Diet plays a key role in overall health.

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