Feeds

MySpace makes kids fat, claims minister

Sure it's not the bubblewrap?

High performance access to file storage

The UK’s children’s minister has slapped MySpace and other social networking sites for their role in the fattening up of the nation's youth.

Beverly Hughes, at the launch of a report by think tank Demos on how children are being squeezed out of public space in the real world, said children were being pulled into virtual worlds instead.

Hughes said parents were also responsible by being overprotective of their children, as was inadequate provision of play areas and increasing traffic.

But once kids were hooked into the mesmerising world of MySpace, Second Life, and Super Mario, she suggested, they would never leave the house, even when it wasn't raining.

The report itself details how "the benefits of a good public realm for children and young people are part of the benefits it gives the rest of society". Yet the report details the pressures on public space, both the lack of formal playgrounds and the like, and the way traffic forces children off other public space.

Apparently, "in one national study 45 per cent of 500 children interviewed said they were not allowed to play with water, 36 per cent were not allowed to climb trees, 27 per cent were not allowed to play on climbing equipment, and 23 per cent were not allowed to ride bikes or use skateboards".

The results are not pretty: "Twenty per cent of four-year-olds are overweight, while 8.5 per cent of six-year-olds and 15 per cent of 15-year olds are obese."

Scary stuff, and the likes of Nintendo, MySpace, and World of Warcraft should be hanging their heads in shame for turning the youth into battalions of buckets of lard, as Hughes points out.

Well, not quite. A search of the report doesn't actually throw up any mentions of computers, TV, consoles, and the like. Rather, it blames local planners, developers, over protective parents, government policies that have yet to deliver, and casual demonisation of children by the adults.

Still, sorting out all of that lot would take an awful lot of time and effort. Much easier to just follow the lead of those overprotective/lazy parents and point at the TV and computer. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.