It seems that Santa Claus's waistline has been expanding every year, and it is not a cause for holiday cheer. Public health experts say that Father Christmas may have a problem and may need to get it under control.

Adele Saidy, the owner of Adele's of Hollywood, has designed Santa Claus suits for four decades. She said to ABC News that she's been noticing a trend: perhaps 25 percent of her client base has a weight problem. When she began, her largest Santa suit was designed to fit a person who weighed up to 250 pounds with a waistline that measured about 50 inches. She has needed to increase her roomiest suit to fit someone with a girth measuring 76 inches and weighing 425 pounds - and they aren't using extra padding. Other Santa suit manufacturers are reporting a similar trend, with one selling suits up to the size 4XL. One manufacturer says that she does not even sell suits for slimmer Santas anymore. It is rare that she receives a complaint.

This is not the first time that reports have surfaced about the increase in Santa's girth. An article in the Augusta Chronicle documented just this phemomenon - in 1996. In 2007, the surgeon general at the time, Steven Galson, suggested that Santa should lose weight. In 2009, a paper published in BMJ wondered if Santa was wielding his influence positively. "Given Santa's fame, he has considerable potential to influence individual and societal behaviour-and not necessarily for good," the Australian study authors wonder.

If Santas are like the rest of us, they stand to gain a pound every holiday season. In fact, people who are already obese stand to gain the most weight from all of the holiday cheer. One paper published in Nutrition Reviews found that 14 percent of obese people gain more than five pounds during the holiday season. Researchers say that it is a good idea for everyone to maintain their diet and exercise plans during the holidays.

Obesity is a growing concern in the United States in the world. A recent poll published by Gallup found that nearly two-thirds of American adults were obese or overweight.