Anorak News | Islam And The X Box Gives You Rickets

Islam And The X Box Gives You Rickets

by | 14th, November 2010

MEDIA scare story of the day is that middle-class children are suffering from rickets because mum and dad smother them in sunscreen. And not just any kind of rickets but the “17th century” version.

Says the Telegraph:

It is thought extensive use of sunscreen, children playing more time on computer games and TV rather than playing outside and a poor diet are to blame.

Thought? What about the science?

Professor Nicholas Clarke explains:

“The return of rickets in northern parts of the UK came as a surprise despite the colder climate and lower levels of sunshine in the north, but what has developed in Southampton is quite astonishing.”

Migrant workers from Norway moving into the area? This site declares:

Gamers get rickets

The Southampton Echo actually produces a fact, but no comparison:

The comeback has shocked the city’s top doctors, who have seen more than 40 youngsters from all backgrounds suffering with the condition in the last 12 months.

A reader has an idea why (and it’s not just the middle-classes):

“It’s a common fact that girl who have to wear head coverings for cultural reason run a higher risk of contracting rickets”

The Sun is more definite:

Experts were stunned to find 20 per cent of children have the disease and cases of the condition — traditionally linked to poverty — are not concentrated in kids from any particular background.

Do they? Well, not. They don’t. The Telegraph reports:

Professor Clarke says he and colleague Dr Justin Davies, a consultant paediatric endocrinologist, have checked over 200 children for bone problems and more than 20 per cent of them have significant deficiencies.

So. The Sun is wrong.  Says the Prof:

“In my 22 years at Southampton General Hospital, this is a completely new occurrence in the south that has evolved over the last 12 to 24 months and we are seeing cases across the board, from areas of deprivation up to the middle classes, so there is a real need to get national attention focused on the dangers this presents.”

These children are all local? And how many of them have rickets?

“A lot of the children we’ve seen have got low vitamin D and require treatment.”

Sure. But do they have rickets?

“This is almost certainly a combination of the modern lifestyle, which involves a lack of exposure to sunlight, but also covering up in sunshine, and we’re seeing cases that are very reminiscent of 17th century England.”

Sunscreen was big in the 1600s. The piece ends:

Professor Clarke says vitamin D supplements should be more widely adopted to halt the rise in cases.

Or ban hard hats, hoodies, OAP headscarves, mitres…

Posted: 14th, November 2010 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink