Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

January 25, 2010 -

Frankly we had purposely avoided “gaming causes rickets” stories up until now because any link to videogames in the research was tenuous at best, but when pro-gaming MP Tom Watson calls foul over the link and assists in ridiculing the tabloid-type headlines screaming about the latest threat to humanity at the hand of games, it’s worth a look.

Events began with a press release issued to call attention to a new study from a pair of doctors which reported on a growing Vitamin D deficiency among the UK population.  A lack of Vitamin D can lead to rickets, a condition that can cause growth problems and bowed-legs in children.

In the press release it was noted that “A traditional UK diet often lacks Vitamin D and this could be a big reason for the increasing problem, as well as changes in lifestyle, such as children staying indoors playing computer games.”

A free paper in the UK (the Metro) picked up the story, splashing a “Video Gaming Leads to Surge in Rickets” headline across its pages, leading GamesBrief columnist Nicholas Lovell to pick apart the Metro story bit-by-bit.

Lovell wrote:

This survey makes no causal link between games and rickets, or even Vitamin D deficiency. It has identified a significant public health issue of rising numbers of cases of rickets, an entirely preventable disease that was almost eradicated fifty years ago. The potential causes are many, ranging from a changing population ethnicity, the lack of playing fields for schoolchildren, a culture of fear that prevents children playing outside unsupervised or even feckless parents who no longer feed their offspring a teaspoonful of foul-tasting cod liver oil every day.

Both Lovell and Watson emailed the study’s authors, Professor Simon Pearce and Dr. Timothy Cheetham.  Amusingly, Pearce emailed Lovell, “The average age of a child with rickets is around 20 months old: too young to use a keyboard and mouse!”

Pearce also replied to MP Watson, writing, “No we really didn’t do a study to show that, or say that Gaming causes rickets. It was a classic piece of dodgy lazy journalism, taking 3 words out of PA’s hyped-up version of our press release.”

As Watson summed up:

So, once again video games get a kicking in the press based on an untruth. And the poor health academics who are trying to get their important research across to policy makers have their work undermined by nonsensical headlines.

Watson, for his part, was determined to help the researchers get their message across, promising to request that the government take a look at the case for adding vitamin D supplements to food and for better ways to encourage parents to make sure their children get more exercise.

Watson also indicated that he would ask Department Health Ministers what type of work, if any, they are doing currently to address this issue.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one in.


Comments

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

My dad has bowed legs but b/c he has osteoperosis NOT from gaming either. B/c he was a farmboy that worked on a farm most of his life & didn't take care of himself & ate & drank junk food all the time. It is NOT due to video games. OMG!

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

This is why I think tabloids are so full of shit, they'll release any headline they can no matter how ridiculous or implausible it is to get publicity. What do you guys think they'll blame videogames for next?

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

"...even feckless parents who no longer feed their offspring a teaspoonful of foul-tasting cod liver oil every day."

If you ever, EVER, mention having to take cod liver oil again...  >:(

It's almost, not quite but almost, as bad as having to grease down my hair as a really young kid.  >:(

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

It's the UK, the land of perpetual cloud cover. Your kids would still get rickets even if you tied them to the top of the tallest building for the rest of their lives.


Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

Something tells me we won't be seeing a "We Were Proven Incorrect About Our Rickets Statement" headline on the Metro any time soon.

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

Depending on your latitude, the amount of sunlight IN FULL CLOTHING, needed to produce a proper amount of viatamin D can be as little as a few hours PER WEEK.

The people at most risk for rickets are those who's mothers exclusively breastfeed, and when the MOTHERS dont get enough sunlight.

damnit armchair doctors make me so mad.

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

I can't believe someone tried this. It won't be long until a link between gaming and going homosexual is tried.

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

Although in terms of honest and accurate reporting, The Metro does rate below even The Daily Mail.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

Coming up next: videogames causes STDs without the sex part?

God, they don´t know what more to blame. This is why the world is becoming more stupid, and it´s not videogames fault.

Also: “The average age of a child with rickets is around 20 months old: too young to use a keyboard and mouse!”

lol

My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Rickets Link to Gaming Debunked

Elementary, my dear Watson.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
ZippyDSMleecrap around. It’s quite annoying but kinda fun like galaxy...even if has the power ups I hate the planets... oh and here comes a C&D in 3...2.....03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
ZippyDSMleeI was never that much of a fan they messed up the power ups, the level design was good enough for the time but ...meh.. Playing through sunshine again since I am no longer a south paw the controls are still stupid there's little to no options to change cr03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
Cheater87http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/parents-could-be-reported-to-police-if-children-play-violent-video-games-like-call-of-duty-and-grand-theft-auto-10141697.html03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2015/03/29/click-here-to-play-super-mario-64-in-hd03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
ZippyDSMleeMedia mafia wants you to sleep wif the fishes!03/29/2015 - 11:44pm
MechaCrashThe MPAA and RIAA are a pack of extortionists and thugs, and they both need to be destroyed.03/29/2015 - 10:19pm
ZippyDSMleehttps://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-wanted-less-fair-use-in-copyright-curriculum-150329/03/29/2015 - 10:17pm
PHX CorpI have to say somthing about an injustice in the Xbox video Store, the first 6 Star Wars films are not available in either SD or HD03/29/2015 - 6:17pm
mthielThis reminds me of schools a few years ago who forbade their students from having MySpace accounts. I don't mean blocking MySpace from the school, I mean banning the kids from having accounts)03/29/2015 - 5:12pm
Constermthiel, that is fucked up. Threatening to call social services on parents if you find out they let their kids play the wrong kind of video games is a suicidal move for schools.03/29/2015 - 5:07pm
mthielSchools in england are sending letters to parents regarding GTA. http://www.cnet.com/news/school-principals-threaten-parents-with-police-if-kids-play-grand-theft-auto/03/29/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew Wilson@mask that tweet says zeldu wiiu will be missing, it says nothing about some kind of remaster.03/29/2015 - 4:01pm
MaskedPixelanteI highly doubt Zelda will be missing from E3. They've got something lined up, next year is the 30th anniversary.03/29/2015 - 3:59pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/581579256704081920 for those who did not see it zelda wont be at e3 ether.03/28/2015 - 2:22pm
ZippyDSMleeGot my keyboard working now now trying to sort and customize my stuff back to where I had it.03/28/2015 - 2:03pm
InfophileSony's customer service has always been crap, but up till now it's been manageable crap. A few cases of people having to pay for being hacked at worst, the Other OS removal... This one is going to be much worse for them.03/28/2015 - 1:34pm
WymorenceWhen did Sony start doing the ransomware stuff...? other than the old BMG rootkit stuff that is.03/28/2015 - 12:45pm
ZippyDSMleeother keyboards work but my keyboard will not work on it works on all the laptops tho...03/27/2015 - 11:22pm
ZippyDSMleeComp crashed acouple days ago and ate my keybaord drivers worse yet it's mislabel the drivers or hardware ID or soemthing and can not install the right drivers even manually it gives errors... going to try another restore point....03/27/2015 - 11:18pm
PHX Corphttp://ps4daily.com/2015/03/ps4-update-bricks-gamers-console-sony-wants-150-to-fix-it/ New PS4 update bricks gamers’ console, Sony wants $150 to fix it03/27/2015 - 11:11pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician