UK & World News
Warning Over That Calorie-Laden Christmas
A calorie-laden Christmas Day could see the average Briton consume the equivalent of half a pack of lard and as much salt as would be found in 50 packets of crisps.
Add to that the equivalent of 32 teaspoons of sugar and an excess of alcohol and the British Heart Foundation warns that your body won't thank you come January.
The charity asked 2,000 people who celebrate Christmas what they eat and drink over the festive period.
They found that for many Christmas indulgence starts well before the turkey, with more than one in 10 choosing a full English breakfast for Christmas morning.
The typical fried breakfast contains around 1,200 calories, and a bacon sandwich with brown sauce can contain over half an adult's recommended daily salt allowance.
Almost three quarters of those surveyed said they eat a traditional turkey dinner on December 25. With all the trimmings, the typical Christmas meal adds up to 660 calories.
Over half of people asked said they would follow this with Christmas pudding, with 23% planning to have cream as well.
Between meals, 40% said they snacked on nuts and 30% on crisps, both of which are often laden with added salt.
A third of people will eat at least one mince pie, and over half enjoy chocolates throughout the day.
Combined with overindulgence at mealtimes, sweet snacks bring the average person's Christmas day sugar intake to the equivalent of 32 teaspoons.
One in 10 people also said they drink more than 13 units of alcohol, the equivalent of 13 shots of whisky, on the day.
After breakfast, lunch and dinner on December 25, the Foundation estimates that the average Briton could have consumed up to 64g of saturated fat, more than double the recommended daily allowance for men, and three times that for women.
Too much saturated fat can raise a person's risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
And nearly a quarter of people surveyed admitted that they do absolutely no exercise over the entire Christmas period.
Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: "I'm sure many of us will overindulge on Christmas Day and if that's where it stopped it probably wouldn't make that much difference.
"But once you've added together the Christmas parties, family gatherings and New Year festivities it's likely that you're eating and drinking much more than recommended.
"We're not saying you shouldn't have any fun during the Christmas season, but neither your heart nor your waistline will thank you for eating and drinking to excess by the time January arrives."
The charity recently launched its free New Year, New You packs, containing a range of leaflets with advice on quitting smoking, healthy eating and exercise.
It hopes to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles in order to lower their risk of developing heart disease.