Computers not to blame for rickets surge

Professor tells MP quotes were taken out of context

Computer games and Facebook are not to blame for the increase of rickets in children, says a professor who was initially thought to have said otherwise.

Professor Simon Pearce published a report in the British Medical Journal last week examining the causes behind the surge in the number of cases of the disease.

According to the Press Association, Pearce said that "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. The number of patients still presenting with symptoms of vitamin D deficiency shows we have a long way to go," he added.

However, Pearce told blogging MP Tom Watson that he had never singled out computer games or Facebook as the cause of rickets.

"No we really didn't do a study to show that, or say that gaming causes rickets," Pearce said.

He said the mistake occured due to "dodgy lazy journalism, taking three words out of the Press Associations's hyped-up version of our press release".

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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