Santa's weight is not a new topic, of course. For instance, in 2014 CNN article asked the question, "Should Santa Claus still be fat?" The story featured a contestant on "The Biggest Loser," who pledged to continue working as a professional Santa Claus, even after shedding 88 pounds. "The world is going to have to change their acceptance of what Santa looks like," said the contestant, Roy Pickler. "Santa is a role model, and kids don't want to have a role model that's fat."
As National Geographic points out, the original St. Nicholas was a Greek man born around 280 A.D. who "was neither fat nor jolly but developed a reputation as a fiery, wiry, and defiant defender of church doctrine during the Great Persecution in 303, when Bibles were burned and priests made to renounce Christianity or face execution." National Geographic credits 19th Century political cartoonist Thomas Nast with creating the "jolly, chubby, grandfatherly face of this Santa"