Rickets rise linked to excessive gaming
Too much PlayStation, not enough sunshine
The number of British kids suffering from the deficiency disease rickets is soaring, medical experts have claimed. The cause: too many hours indoors playing videogames.
Professor Simon Pearce and Tim Cheetham, both of Newcastle University, wrote in the British Medical Journal this week that rickets – which can cause sufferers to develop bow-shaped legs – is becoming “disturbingly common” among minors.
Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D and is often the result of poor diet and a lack of exposure to sunlight. It was very common in Victorian times and earlier eras before improved diet rendered it exceedingly rare.
Rickets: common in Victorian times
But more than 20 new cases are discovered every year in Newcastle alone, the two medics said.
“Kids tend to stay indoors more these days and play on their computers instead of enjoying the fresh air. This means their vitamin D levels are worse than in previous years,” said Pearce.
Pearce and Cheetham recommend that vitamin D be artificially added to milk and other food products in the UK, in an attempt to counteract the rise in rickets cases.
Other countries, including North America, already do so. But Britain's governor of grub, the Food Standards Agency, rejected the suggestion, stating that most people get “all the vitamin D they need from their diet and by getting a little sun”, The Times – notes.
Young gamers were targeted by a government-backed healthy lifestyle advertising campaign in March 2009. It implicitly connected gaming with early death, stating that young ’uns should be active for an hour a day. ®
Rickets was endemic in the UK as late as the intra-war years, and I believe it was brought "under control" by a rather daring - for the time - social engineering ploy by the government.
Rickets is primarily a disease of poor diet, and the answer lay in getting people, mostly the poorer classes who were unable to afford luxury food items, to eat the right foods.
Turns out that a meal of Fish'n'chips once a week or so is a good start, so the plan was that anyone starting a fish'n'chip shop would be subsidised by the government.
(What's that? A capitalist idea from what was then mostly socialist Britain? Isn't that, like, totally illegal under a treaty with the Americans or something?)
This is probably the reason why the meal has such a prominent place in British culture, and why corner fish'n'chip shops were once a common sight.
It's my understanding that in the 80s the subsidies were discontinued. This (along with decline in fish stocks and the subsequent rise in costs) brought on the gradual decline of fish'n'chips as a UK staple and wouldn't ya know it, a new rise in rickets is seen.
I suffer from a pancreatic condition that sprang into my personal foreground some years after I emigrated and stopped eating cod once a week (couldn't get decent cod over here). Turns out the secret to moving this problem back into the background again is to take capsules containing Omega-3 fish oils.
Or eat Cod once a week.
Gaming: Society's evil
Maybe the parents just aren't feeding their sprogs healthily enough more likely.
Easier to blame the latest set of media though isn't it.
..it's down to medical people constantly ramming down peoples throats that if they go out in the sun they will die of skin cancer and turn to a wrinkled prune by age 16.
Is it any wonder people have gone from one extreme to another?
It's not the games...
...it's the fact that when the brats do actually go out into the fresh air, they insist on wearing long sleeved hoodies, with their hoods up, in the middle of summer. I remember seeing a gang of them one *blazing* July day a couple of years back, wearing not just hoodies but massive 'puffa' jackets all fully done up, and thinking that it wouldn't be long before there was a rickets epidemic. I'm surprised (and schadenfreudially overjoyed) that my cynical musing has now come to pass !
The only body part that teenage boys seem to expose these days is their scrawny spotty arses, thinking they're dead hip and up-to-date... for their info, it was already a joke when it was shown in 'Clueless' (1995)... I suppose that these days any teenager with sufficient intelligence to operate a trouser belt gets bogwashed for being a swot...
Hang on, this isn't the Daily Mail website, how did I get here ??!!!
What country are they talking about?