Resurgence of rickets due to gaming

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Gamersmom
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Resurgence of rickets due to gaming

There's a good reason to get the kids out of the house and into the sun:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/01/22/tv-games-blamed-return-rickets...

The hours children spend indoors playing computer games or watching television may be to blame for a resurgence of rickets, The Times of London revealed Friday.

Scientists say that rickets is becoming "disturbingly common" among British children. The disease is caused by chronic vitamin D deficiencies, which can be triggered by long periods out of natural sunlight and a poor diet.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Professor Simon Pearce and Dr. Tim Cheetham, of Newcastle University, called for milk and other food products to be supplemented with vitamin D in an attempt to counteract the problem.

Vitamin D is produced naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and is also found in a small number of foods, including oily fish, liver and egg yolks.

Recent studies show that the incidence of rickets, a disease previously linked with poverty in Victorian Britain or malnutrition in the developing world, is increasing. More than 20 new cases are discovered every year in the northern England city of Newcastle alone.

Children with rickets do not grow properly and can develop bow legs.

Dr. Cheetham, a senior lecturer in pediatric endocrinology, added: "I am dismayed by the increasing numbers of children we are treating with this entirely preventable condition. Fifty years ago many children would have been given regular doses of cod liver oil, but this practice has all but died out."

For more on this story, see The Times of London.

Lack of vitamin D is associated with much more than just rickets, and in fact may be associated with some types of cancers down the road.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

gsingjane
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That is very, very

That is very, very disturbing. But, I guess, not surprising. It is another example of the fact that very often there are wide-scale consequences to some of these social phenomena, that weren't really anticipated. It will be interesting, from an epidemiological standpoint, to see what the long-term impact will be of the incredibly sedentary lifestyle imposed by heavy gaming habits.

Jane in CT

the_real_me
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This is very shocking.

This is very shocking.

The question is....will you be able/courageous/adult enough to sacrifice that which merely pleases you...for that which will truly fulfill you? That is the question of personal growth.
~~~Dem518
~~~wow-free since 8/22/09

lizwool
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I have been expecting

I have been expecting this. I don't think it is from TV. TV has been around for 50 years and this 'illness' is just showing up again now. I agree the combination of TV and the computer games together are contributing to this. You can only spend so much time in the house with no sunshine or fresh air or exercise, before it starts affecting you physically and mentally.

Liz Woolley

LaurelS9
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And the global warming

And the global warming scare...and the absence of te ozone layer makes folks afraid to get out in the sun...and with good reason because of skin cancer. That's another factor imo.

Gamersmom
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No one here is saying that

No one here is saying that excessive computer gaming is the sole cause of the resurgence of rickets in the UK. Obviously, it is a multifactorial problem, but anything that keeps a kid from getting exposed to natural sunlight can contribute to vitamin D deficiency, so this is relevant. I posted it as an informational item for parents whose children are gaming excessively. I realize that the researchers who published the study in the BMJ were more interested in promoting vitamin D supplementation of food pruducts, but here is a direct quote from Professor Pearce to the Times: aEUoeKids 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.aEU

BTW, even though children under the age of 2 are most susceptible to the bowing of long bones that results from vitamin D deficiency, rickets can affect children of all ages. It just manifests in different ways.

We are not here to "demonize games", but to provide education and support to those adversely affected by the problem of excessive game-playing. If you are here to contribute to our mission, welcome. If not, have a nice day.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

NicholasLovell
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Moved.

Moved.

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