back to article Rickets rise linked to excessive gaming

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 …


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  1. Phillip Webster

    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.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Rubbish...'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?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stop the press!

    20 a year in Newcastle, sounds serious...

    Also I love the

    "let's blame the games"

    and not

    "let's blame peoples paranoia about paedophiles and kidnappers meaning they keep their kids inside where they can keep an eye on them"

    1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!
      Thumb Up

      You beat me to it.

      I was about to make a comment about how parents either:

      A). Keep their little darlings inside just in case the terrorists / paediatricians* etc get them

      B). Use the Playstation as a nanny whilst they ignore their offspring, leaving Little Jimmy playing Manhunt 2 until 3am every day**.

      and the fact that the massive increase in convenience food - most of which is pretty shit for nutrition - has massively grown over the last few decades.

      A lot of the current crop of parents are the ones who were babysat by the TV and fed microchips day in and day out. It shows.

      *yes, I know. It was deliberate - not like The NotW!

      ** And playing Manhunt 2 is in itself enough reason to class the kiddies as "abused"...

  4. Gareth Gouldstone

    Slip Slap Slop

    Even when the kids do get a chance to go out in the sun, their parents are being advised to cover up any exposed skin with clothes, hats and sunscreen. What a choice; rickets or skin cancer!

  5. platdujour

    They should put Vitamin D in Red Bull

    the like if they want to target serious gamers...

  6. Myopic Aardvark

    Wrong target

    Blame Newcastle.

    That is all.

  7. JohnG


    These kids don't drink milk! Cola maybe or like platdujour said, Red Bull.

    I was expecting them to suggest the kids should be sent on holidays to sunnier climes, courtesy of the NHS and the long suffering taxpayers.

  8. Ivor Biggen


    Geordie zombies!!!

    Too much time spent on computer games... thats not a reason, why dont they blame it on watching to much "x factor" & "sliding on ice"? Or that they are fed rubbish by cheap ass parents whos goal in life is to watch corrie and bellenders?!

  9. Paul_Murphy

    blast - spaces don't count as a title

    >...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.

    How about recommending that the kids get out a little more and get some exercise?

    Lets treat the symptoms, not the cause - and they call themselves doctors (well I guess they do)! actually I suppose that's what happens in the medical profession anyway, so maybe thats their default behaviour.


  10. lukewarmdog

    Wont somebody think of the

    Terrible fate of Children born in Newcastles. They all grow up sounding like that.

    There should be some kind of birth control never mind vitamins in the milk.

    Kill two birds with one stone. You can do that in some parts of the middle east.

  11. Stevie


    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Fish n stuff

      Great reply - fish and chips were also not rationed during the war so that people would have some luxuries. Great. Cod and chips please (and a pickled egg).

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Ah I knew my fish-n-chip habit was good for me!

      Except for the massive amount of grease.

      You can keep yer nasty cod, though, I'll have a nice bit of shark, thanks.

  12. il-monstro

    North America isn't a country

    merely a collection of weird, scary countries

  13. h 6
    IT Angle

    Rickets: common in Victorian times

    Yeah, but were x-ray machines?! :P

  14. Anonymous Coward

    WTF Has this to do with games ?

    So kids have a bad diet because healthy food is too expensive and big businesses destroy the way people eat, "hai Monasato!"

    Plus parents don't let them go outside 'cause the paedos will get them, or so say the newspapers.

    And it's all the PS2's fault ????

    I normally find el'Reg a good laugh but this is just stupid. Please, think of the children !!

    1. Adam T

      It's the parents

      Nothing expensive about a clove of garlic or an onion.

      But yeah, it's blame the parents. Or the parents' parents. Some parents are lazy and were themselves raised without the know-how of how to look after themselves, let alone their kids, and this is especially true in lower working-class areas. And their kids will grow up the same, and it'll never change without intervention (most probably evolution, if you can wait a million years) taking care of the problem.

  15. Adam T
    Thumb Up


    I live in Newcastle and I can tell you that it's so common, that people who don't have bowed legs walk as if they do, just so they don't get stared at.

    Which leads to my question, does alcohol cause rickets too?

  16. Matthew 4

    Retarded Govt policys to blame

    So.. they firstly ban kids from all contact (I.e. FUN) sports and outside games, THEN wonder why they just stay indoors??

    Seriously only a moron wouldn't have seen this coming a mile off.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgetting something..........

    I know that rickets are meant to be more prevalent in younger children but as its related to diet wouldnt that mean that it should be more widespread considering that before computers there was more tv ??

    Also, what about the older generation that have grown up in the late 70's and early 80's onwards when the home computer boom started. I used to spend all my time on a computer in my bedroom (no internet though) playing games on a C64, Amiga, TRS80.

    I have a job, family, etc and have never felt the need to go on some rampage afterwards either.

    Isn't it more a case of current society simply becoming lazier in the way we eat and live our lives rather than the blame lying at the door of computer games ???

  18. Richard 31
    Paris Hilton


    Games consoles have been common in homes since the 1980's. The games were just as addictive then as they are now. Have the number of cases been rising since then?

    1. Jimbo 6

      It's not the games...'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 ??!!!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What country are they talking about?

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