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Prolonged Gaming Blamed For Rickets Rise

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-let-the-scurvy-get-you-down dept.

Medicine 254

superapecommando writes "Too many hours spent playing videogames indoors is contributing to a rise in rickets, according to a new study by doctors. Professor Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham of Newcastle University have written a paper in the British Medical Journal which warns of the rickets uptake – a disease which sufferers get when deficient in Vitamin D. The study boils down to the fact that as more people play videogames indoors they don't get enough sunlight and this has meant the hospitals are now having to combat a disease that was last in the papers around the time Queen Victoria was on the throne." At least the kids are eating enough snacks with iodized salt that we don't have to worry about goiters.

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First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863286)

Scurvy!

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863940)

I'm Popeye the sailor man. I'm Popeye the sailor man. I love to go swimmin' With bow-leg-ed women. I'm Popeye the sailor man.

Via Wikipedia (5, Informative)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863316)

Rickets is a softening of bones in children potentially leading to fractures and deformity. Rickets is among the most frequent childhood diseases in many developing countries. The predominant cause is a vitamin D deficiency, but lack of adequate calcium in the diet may also lead to rickets (cases of severe diarrhea and vomiting may be the cause of the deficiency). Although it can occur in adults, the majority of cases occur in children suffering from severe malnutrition, usually resulting from famine or starvation during the early stages of childhood.

Re:Via Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863412)

, usually resulting from famine or starvation during the early stages of childhood.

And that's the real story: Parents who have turned their children over to the television, computer, and daycare centers of the world and neglecting basic nutrition. My sister is like that -- she is fed a diet of fast food and microwave meals because her parents can't be bothered to cook a meal (two income family). I don't think its intentional, people just assume there's no problem if it can't be seen.

Re:Via Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863638)

I'm not sure why you threw daycare centers in there. Often they are much more strictly monitored than a child's home life and probably have prevented more of these cases than caused them.

Re:Via Wikipedia (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863670)

Please people, play some sports outside with your children. They spend so much time at their computer and console games that they're getting too difficult for us old folks to beat.

And they're generally fairly annoying about it.

Re:Via Wikipedia (4, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863750)

Please people, play some sports outside with your children. They spend so much time at their computer and console games that they're getting too difficult for us old folks to beat. And they're generally fairly annoying about it.

You're just trying to handicap them. You're supposed to practice after they go to bed so you're ready to unleash a 13 hit combo on them. Or headshot them. Whichever.

(before I get marked as evil, I mean IN GAMES)

Re:Via Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863756)

besides nothing is as cathartic as sacking your 5 year old. After he beats you at mariokart

__________________________

I am AC cause I dont have an account. Long time listener and all that.

Re:Via Wikipedia (1)

Internalist (928097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863758)

And that's the real story: Parents who have turned their children over to the television, computer, and daycare centers of the world and neglecting basic nutrition. My sister is like that -- she is fed a diet of fast food and microwave meals because her parents can't be bothered to cook a meal (two income family). I don't think its intentional, people just assume there's no problem if it can't be seen.

Wait...your sister has parents who can't be cooked a meal, and thus is fed (alleged) junk. Are your parents somehow magically not like that? (if not, I'm thinking your sister needs to re-evaluate her relationship with her parents)

Re:Via Wikipedia (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863838)

Step sister got called sister, maybe?

Re:Via Wikipedia (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863818)

No, that's not the real story, that's a line of condescending bullshit from someone who probably doesn't have kids or kids in daycare. Yes, I see the hidden attitude -- dual income parents, who want to have it all -- material possessions and kids -- and who, at the end of the day, are just too tired or self-absorbed from their ceaseless search for money and goods to take proper care of their children.

I got news for you. Ain't the case. Life is expensive. Very expensive. You really can't take care of a family in this shitty, overpriced, bought-and-sold by Goldman Sachs world of ours without dual incomes. This necessitates daycare, which I might add is extremely expensive, $1300 a month for us, and even when you pay as much as you can you still find yourself making sure they do things right (ie, milk at meals).

It's *so* tiring to hear people without kids get sanctimonious about how people with kids live their lives, as if it were a simple set of choices made by logic.

Re:Via Wikipedia (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863920)

, usually resulting from famine or starvation during the early stages of childhood.

And that's the real story: Parents who have turned their children over to the television, computer, and daycare centers of the world and neglecting basic nutrition. My sister is like that -- she is fed a diet of fast food and microwave meals because her parents can't be bothered to cook a meal (two income family). I don't think its intentional, people just assume there's no problem if it can't be seen.

Agreed.

You don't even need to get out in the sun that much... If you're eating right, you'll be getting plenty of vitamin D. Hell, just a glass of milk is full of the stuff.

The real story is that nutrition in general, in the United States, is all shot to hell. Folks are living off fast food, cans, boxes, and frozen dinners. Nobody eats real food anymore.

How do I know? I've been there!

Over the last couple of years my diet has gone straight to hell. I've been busy and overworked and stressed and whatnot, and it's just been easier to grab something quick than to eat right. A recent bit of bloodwork came back with "trace amounts" of vitamin D. Lowest the doctor had ever seen.

Initially they had me on some hefty vitamin D supplements... But that was just to get me up to where I should be quickly. Since then I've just been eating real food and haven't had any issues.

Re:Via Wikipedia (1)

HoboCop (987492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863696)

Also from the Wikipedia article, the vitamin D deficiency prevents your stomach from absorbing calcium, causing rickets. So in any case, being deficient in calcium is the underlying problem.

The kicker: (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863328)

If you spend so much time inside playing video games that you get a case of the rickets, you've got way more problems than just vitamin deficiency.

Re:The kicker: (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863668)

If you spend so much time inside playing video games that you get a case of the rickets, you've got way more problems than just vitamin deficiency.

You don't hear people talk about it much, for obvious reasons, but it's also a cause of the rise in prolapsed anuses [thefreedictionary.com] in teenagers caused by the support structures weakening from too much inactivity, combined with poor bowel movements.

I can see the next new game drink... DDrink! (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863342)

DDrink!

A Double Dose of D along with a Double Dollop of Caffeine! Get your Dose and Drink DDrink!

Re:I can see the next new game drink... DDrink! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863432)

Thats the thing though, Milk is great for Vitamin D - and Chocolate Milk is a favourite amongst gamers.

However, just having the D in your system doesn't get it to work, something in the sunlight "activates" it. I heard it from a girl one time.

Re:I can see the next new game drink... DDrink! (3, Funny)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863504)

Thats the thing though, Milk is great for Vitamin D - and Chocolate Milk is a favourite amongst gamers.

However, just having the D in your system doesn't get it to work, something in the sunlight "activates" it. I heard it from a girl one time.

You actually TALKED to a girl? Wow. That's just incredible

Re:I can see the next new game drink... DDrink! (1)

isama (1537121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863850)

Yeah! most of us have our girls tied up in the basement! (using ductape naturally..)

Re:I can see the next new game drink... DDrink! (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863738)

I don't think so. Vitamin D can either be synthesized by the skin through exposure to sunlight or it can be ingested and absorbed like most vitamins.

Re:I can see the next new game drink... DDrink! (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863790)

I used to get a double dose of D all the time but that was when I was a newlywed. Twenty years later, now I hardly get any DD.

Milk? (3, Interesting)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863344)

Wouldn't drinking milk resolved the Vitamin D deficiency. I do not know much about the Richet illness but what does sunlight have to do with Calcium.

Re:Milk? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863378)

Your skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight...

Re:Milk? (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863392)

And isn't a lot of the orange juice on the market vitamin D enriched? I know both tropicana and florida's best have one that is basically milk that tastes like orange juice (although I like pulp so I never buy it).

Re:Milk? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863476)

Vitamin D enriched foods and drinks (as well as those naturally high in D) would probably help, if we could get the pasty-skinned console trolls to consume them. Maybe if they added vitamin D to pizza rolls, Hot Pockets, Doritos, and Mountain Dew?

Re:Milk? (2, Informative)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863614)

They already do this...the whole reason milk is loaded with vitamin D is that in the 1930's the government started forcing dairy producers to fortify their milk with vitamin D in order to combat rickets

Maybe the real problem is the lack of milk.

Re:Milk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863664)

Milk is disgusting. Never drink the stuff. Granted, it is fine in food, but to drink it...bletch!

Re:Milk? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863834)

I disagree 100%, maybe its because when I was growing up the only things to drink in the house were Whole Milk or Water. It was actually funny when my two brothers and I all came home from college over some three day weekend my parents tried to play ahead and bought two gallons so we wouldn't run out. It was all gone w/in 24 hours.

Re:Milk? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863454)

Woops I posted this to the one above.

However, just having the D in your system doesn't get it to work, something in the sunlight "activates" it.

As for the guy who mentioned Orange Juice and Tropicana, most of it is Vitamin C, but there are Vitamin D enriched juices yes. Same rule applies though, it needs sunlight.

Re:Milk? (3, Informative)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863610)

Sunlight isn't required to "activate" Vitamin D. It's that sunlight causes our bodies to naturally produce it.

Re:Milk? (5, Informative)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863534)

Don't listen to those people. You do NOT need sunlight to get vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced by your body when the high energy photons in sunlight break apart some chemical bonds in your skin and vitamin D is one of the results. However, it has also been isolated and produced externally for many decades. The vitamin D that you intake is almost as effective as the vitamin D produced by the sun.

Re:Milk? (0, Flamebait)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863760)

Yeah, don't listen to those people. Listen to the guy who tells you it's better to take a pill than to just get some sunlight. *rolls eyes*

Re:Milk? (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863884)

No, listen to the guy who just said it's better to get sunlight than take a pill, and better to take a pill than to not get any vitamin D.

Re:Milk? (-1, Redundant)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863860)

On the contrary: Milk and other fortified foods provide only minuscule amounts of vitamin D, and it is in the form that is less-readily absorbed by the human body - D2.

A healthy level of vitamin D in the blood should be around 60 ng/mL, but even drinking several glasses of milk a day, you would barely go beyond the widespread, deficient level of around 25-30. In order to reach 60+, you'll have to supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, which is the liquid softgel Vitamin D3, and not the hard tablet D2 that's made from plant matter. If the bottle just says "Vitamin D", chances are it's D2, and you should avoid that.

Take about 4,000 to 8,000 IU per day and you're golden. On top of that, your immune system will be able to fight off the common colds that everyone else gets each year due to D deficiency.

And don't bother trying to supplement with sun. Spending our lives in the shade has dramatically reduced our ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D.

Sources: this cardiologist [blogspot.com] and this neurobiologist [blogspot.com]

Re:Milk? (0, Redundant)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863728)

Milk provides only miniscule amounts of vitamin D, and it is in the form that is less-readily absorbed by the human body - D2.

A healthy level of vitamin D in the blood should be around 60 ng/mL, but even drinking several glasses of milk a day, you would barely go beyond the widespread, deficient level of around 25-30. In order to reach 60+, you'll have to supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, which is the liquid softgel Vitamin D3, and not the hard tablet D2 that's made from plant matter. If it just says "Vitamin D", chances are it's D2, and you should avoid that.

Take about 4,000 to 8,000 IU per day and you're golden. On top of that, your immune system will be able to fight off the common colds that everyone else gets each year due to D deficiency.

And don't bother trying to supplement with sun. Spending our lives in the shade has dramatically reduced our ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D.

Sources: this cardiologist [blogspot.com] and this neurobiologist [blogspot.com]

Hmm... (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863350)

Our wikipedia overlords report that the suggested daily supplementation for individuals at risk of deficiency is only 25 micrograms. Unless the risks of overdose are particularly hairy, or are encountered at a dose particularly close to the suggested one, this seems like a problem that could be fairly easily solved by slight modifications to the food supply.

Or, heck, just make console controllers whose plastics slowly leach vitamin D into the greasy, sweaty, hands of the gamer kiddies....

Re:Hmm... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863400)

this seems like a problem that could be fairly easily solved by slight modifications to the food supply.

Like putting vitamin D into milk?

Re:Hmm... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863446)

Cheetos and Mountain Dew would probably be better targets...

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863498)

Mountain Dew, now enhanced with Vitamin Dew

Re:Hmm... (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863810)

I know the goal was a joke, but nevertheless, we already do too much marketing of ultra processed goods as being healthy by virtue of them containing something that the body needs. It evokes the whole issue in Idiocracy of "Brawndo - Its got electrolytes!"

I could see this turning into "Mountain Dew - Its got Vitamin D - Its what kids crave!"

That being said, I have a 4-foot privacy wall in my cubicle constructed of Mountain Dew cans glued together.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863832)

Like putting tiny suns into the cheetos...

Re:Hmm... (1)

The Mgt (221650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863846)

Or having TVs and monitors produce some suitably low level of UVB.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863480)

Or, oh, I don't know..... get kids up off their fucking asses and outside to actually do something with their lives once in a while.

Kids, listen up: You're probably gonna end up in a job where you sit on your ass in front of a computer for 40 hours a week. If you don't take advantage of this period of your life to do something other than what you're going to end up being paid to do down the road, it will be a short and unpleasant life.

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863634)

as opposed to a long and unpleasant life?

Re:Hmm... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863482)

Or they could just go outside for 10 minutes a day *gasp* without sunscreen. Crazy, I know (and not necissarily effective in certain latitudes during the winter) but it would solve the problem very easily, no changes needed.

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863678)

To be fair, this study does come from England. Do they get 10 minutes of sunshine a day there?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863826)

We had 10 minutes of sunshine last year.

Re:Hmm... (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863500)

I just did a bit of research, it would take 10 taaaallll Glasses of Vitamin D enriched Milk to barely get the amount required.

However, less than 30 minutes of sunlight (varying on your size, your skin pigmentation and where you live) will deliver this amount.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863660)

I just did a bit of research, it would take 10 taaaallll Glasses of Vitamin D enriched Milk to barely get the amount required.

Where did you do your research?

8 oz (a short glass) of vitamin D enriched milk has about 100 IU of vit D; USRDA for vit D is 400 IU.

So that's four short glasses, or 2-3 taaaallll glasses to get the RDA.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Redundant)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863958)

Guess what - the federal government is wrong. *gasp* I know, I'm shocked too! ;)

Milk provides only miniscule amounts of vitamin D, and it is in the form that is less-readily absorbed by the human body - D2.

A healthy level of vitamin D in the blood should be around 60 ng/mL, but even drinking several glasses of milk a day, you would barely go beyond the widespread, deficient level of around 25-30. In order to reach 60+, you'll have to supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, which is the liquid softgel Vitamin D3, and not the hard tablet D2 that's made from plant matter. If it just says "Vitamin D", chances are it's D2, and you should avoid that.

Take about 4,000 to 8,000 IU per day and you're golden. On top of that, your immune system will be able to fight off the common colds that everyone else gets each year due to D deficiency.

And don't bother trying to supplement with sun. Spending our lives in the shade has dramatically reduced our ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D.

Sources: this cardiologist [blogspot.com] and this neurobiologist [blogspot.com]

Re:Hmm... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863734)

And 30 minutes of sunlight in some locations will leave you with frostbite, hypothermia or just plain death if you're running around with a lot of exposed flesh.

A couple taaaalll glasses of milk or losing a few extremities... tough choice.

Re:Hmm... (0, Redundant)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863578)

A healthy level of vitamin D in the blood should be around 60 ng/mL. In order to reach that, you'll have to supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, which is the liquid softgel Vitamin D3, and not the hard tablet D2 that's made from plant matter. If it just says "Vitamin D", chances are it's D2, and you should avoid that.

Take about 4,000 to 8,000 IU per day and you're golden. On top of that, your immune system will be able to fight off the common colds that everyone else gets each year due to D deficiency.

And don't bother trying to supplement with sun. Spending our lives in the shade has dramatically reduced our ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D.

Sources: this cardiologist [blogspot.com] and this neurobiologist [blogspot.com]

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863722)

Did you read those blog posts at all? The FA is about Children and rickets. The first blog post specifically states that adults over 40 have trouble converting sunlight to vitamin D. Children still have that ability and, quoting from the blog, "should seasonally adjust their vitamin D dose" when they are out in the sun more.

Re:Hmm... (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863732)

I'd listen the to neurobiologist. The cardiologist seems kinda nutty.

Re:Hmm... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863786)

They're in agreement, for the same reasons, and based on the same rationale. I could have simply cited one of them.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863904)

you'll have to supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, which is the liquid softgel Vitamin D3, and not the hard tablet D2 that's made from plant matter.

All of my hard tablets say "D3" on their labels.

This just in! (1)

bearflash (1671358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863360)

As a follow up to this story, apparently smoking cigarettes has also been linked to a higher chance of being diagnosed with lung cancer, heart disease and other terminal ailments

Grain of salt... (5, Interesting)

Shanrak (1037504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863374)

I'm going to take this with a large grain of salt here. Does the publication in the British Medical Journal actually blame the rise on gaming, or is TFA simply adding the gaming aspect to it to generate a sensational article to post on a tech site with a large demographic who plays games. TFA only has a link to the BMJ homepage.

Oh, and obligatory: correlation does not imply causation

Re:Grain of salt... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863582)

Link to their paper's abstract: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/340/jan11_1/b5664 [bmj.com] Nothing about gaming in the abstract:

Risk factors include skin pigmentation, use of sunscreen or concealing clothing, being elderly or institutionalised, obesity, malabsorption, renal and liver disease, and anticonvulsant use

Re:Grain of salt... (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863926)

Oh, and obligatory: correlation does not imply causation

If playing videogames causes you to be inside and thus not get sunlight, and not getting sunlight causes one to get rickets, then there is a causation here.

The market responds (1)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863390)

Expect the addition of Vitamin D to popular gamer energy drinks.

The future of gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863408)

So gamers are going to evolve into squids?

Gaming? (5, Interesting)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863418)

Bullshit.

More likely the result of fear-tactic news scaring people into keeping their kids indoors 24 hours a day except for school. Playgrounds are where perverts lurk, remember? Gotta keep little Billy safe!

Of course, indoors there are videogames - but there's also books, and television. Gaming is just one possible indoor activity - if you don't let your kids outside, don't be surprised if they end up fucked up.

Re:Gaming? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863672)

Probably the best post on this article right there.

I can think of a large number of University students who would probably get Rickets from staying inside studying so much - if it weren't for the half hour outdoor walks across campus.

Re:Gaming? (1)

jimmyhugs (1726026) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863704)

I find that the invisible fence keeps my children in the yard and away from predators. The only time they take the shock collars off is when we use the slip-n-slide.

Sunlight is the key (0)

neurogeneticist (1631367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863428)

You need vitamin D, sunlight, and working kidneys in order to render it useful. You can get all the vitamin D you want in your diet, but without sunlight, it cannot be converted into a usable form by the kidneys. This is why they put northern Swedish and Norwegian kids under sun lamps for a few minutes every day. Thankfully, you really only need a few minutes of direct sunlight to covert enough vitamin D to last a while.

Re:Sunlight is the key (4, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863632)

Unless the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] is wrong, I think you're misinterpreting the flowchart.

Ingestion of natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from oily fish, egg yolks, and other vertebrate tissue sources, ingestion of natural vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) from invertebrate (usually fungal) tissue sources like mushrooms, ingestion of enriched foods with versions of either vitamin, or skin exposure to ultraviolet (which creates D3) all put vitamin D into the bloodstream. Then, the liver performs the first step of processing the vitamin, hydroxylation of either into calcidiol. Then, the kidney performs a second and final hydroxylation, conversion into calcitriol. This is the vitamin used by the tissues.

In other words, sunlight is not involved with either hydroxylation reaction, only in one of the two sources (ingestion or skin synthesis) of the initial forms of vitamin D.

If sunlight were involved in either hydroxylation reaction, we'd need to expose our livers and kidneys to sunlight, and that sounds quite painful and messy to me.

Obvious Solution (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863438)

Play your video games outdoors.

Re:Obvious Solution (2, Insightful)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863562)

You're modded funny, but why not think about what activities could be moved outside? Video games may not be the best choice to do it with, but it's not a terrible idea to at least consider it. Now that I think about it, it might be nice to go sit under a tree with my laptop somewhere (if it weren't winter).

Really though, the bigger issue is that the majority of these cases are probably caused by poor diet more than (or at least as much as) lack of sun exposure.

Re:Obvious Solution (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863796)

Well, let's think about what activities are being blamed for the problem described. The one seized upon and trumpeted loudly is gaming. So let's take the gaming rig outside. Where sunlight washes out the contrast of the LCD or CRT display and gets us killed in-game because we didn't see the faint trace of that sniper camper waaaaay over there. And then the console or PC overheats because of the lack of air conditioning. And then we get sunburn.

Ditto with watching TV and video outdoors, especially the contrast washout and sunburn part.

it might be nice to go sit under a tree with my laptop somewhere (if it weren't winter).

Under a tree? In the shade? Where you aren't getting any UV exposure from the sunlight you're avoiding? Won't help your vitamin deficiency, sorry. Now, sitting under the (bare) tree in winter might give you more exposure, but at high temperate latitudes winter sunlight apparently isn't enough either. Never mind frostbite and hypothermia.

Really though, the bigger issue is that the majority of these cases are probably caused by poor diet more than (or at least as much as) lack of sun exposure.

Yup, I agree. We've had this "lack of sun exposure" problem since the beginning of the Industrial Age. We fixed it with vitamin enrichment of the foods people normally ate. Now, we don't eat those as much. So we accidentally avoid both sources of vitamin D: sunlight or healthy food. Winner!

Re:Obvious Solution (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863706)

If my legs looked like the ones in the picture, I think I'd wear a cowboy hat and learn to talk like Sam Elliot. Chicks dig Sam Elliot.

Re:Obvious Solution (1)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863852)

Finally, there's a reason to play Super Mario Sunshine.

Video Games? Really? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863456)

So the lack of Milk fortified with Vitamin D has nothing to do with it, and thus we must blame video games rather then blame people for drinking soda. For the lactose intolerant I'm sorry, for the rest you cant have any pudding if you don't eat your meat.

Re:Video Games? Really? (1)

bearflash (1671358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863490)

It's the lack of sunlight, I used to have an iguana, they required certain rations of calcium to phosphorous and a decent amount of Vitamin D in their diet, but they also required sunlight to make them active in their body. You either needed to buy a special UV lamp, which wasn't quite as effective, or get them to a window at some point during the day so they could soak up some rays.

Re:Video Games? Really? (1)

bearflash (1671358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863510)

er ratios, not rations, sorry about that

Re:Video Games? Really? (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863528)

You ! Yes, you, behind the bike-sheds... Stand still, laddie !

Re:Video Games? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863576)

Pretty much milk WITH UV radiation (sunlight) is the key.
UVB (sun through glass) does not produce the vitamin D needed.

http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp

and of course (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863470)

This has nothing to do with the media telling everyone that we shouldn't even risk a glimpse at the sunlight without a generous slathering with SPF 2 billion sunscreen and a hat.

Geeze "researchers"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863478)

Correlation does not equal causation!

Don't these morons read Slashdot?! We're so much smarter than they are.

It's just unbelievable. I think, from now on, all researchers should submit an "Ask Slashdot" question and we'll answer it for them - and they can have the publishing credit. Now of course, for the peer reviewed journal, they'll have to submit data. But all the researchers have to do is just put in their cites 'Answered by the Slashdot guys." The reviewers will see that and realize that its got to be true!

My captcha is "verified" - see, the Slashdot system knows it to be true!

Alrighty, clue me in (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863502)

I'm sure this works, just not how.

Sunlight is photons. Energy. Vitamin D is matter. Vitamin D can't literally be in the sunlight.

Does sunlight just cause the body to produce vitamin D, or what?

Re:Alrighty, clue me in (4, Informative)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863598)

Sunlight is photons. Energy. Vitamin D is matter. Vitamin D can't literally be in the sunlight.

7-dehydrocholesterol, a derivative of cholesterol, is photolyzed in the skin (mostly in the epidermal stratum basale and stratum spinosum) by ultraviolet light between 270-300 nm wavelength in 6-electron conrotatory electrocyclic reaction. The product is pre-vitamin D3.

Pre-vitamin D3 then spontaneously isomerizes to Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in a antarafacial hydride [1,7] Sigmatropic shift. At room temperature the transformation of previtamin-D3 to vitamin D3 takes about 12 days to complete.

Re:Alrighty, clue me in (1)

DarkIcon (244858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863604)

Yes, it does.
I am not a chemist or biologist, but my understanding is that sunlight starts (or facilitates) a chemical process that produces Vitamin D. Without sunlight, that reaction does not happen.

Ugh (2, Insightful)

rwalker429 (1452827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863506)

Why are video games exclusively targeted in this? Yes, they create a pretty attractive form of indoor entertainment but the problem here isn't video games. It's the people playing them or in the case of children, THEIR PARENTS. Send the kids outside. Heck, a good video game will make a lot of kids WANT to go play outside...if only so they can emulate their favorite fictional hero of the day. The same case could be made for television, really great sex, or pretty much anything else that makes staying inside an attractive option. Give the sensationalism a rest. And if you're doing this to yourself as an adult and not climbing out of the basement bat-cave and seeing the light of day once in awhile...well then you're making a choice about your health and lifestyle. Last I recalled, being an adult involved making choices like that.

Re:Ugh (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863836)

Don't you know? Everything that every goes wrong with young people can be blamed on video games. Can't you think of the children?

Vitamin D deficiency does not cause rickets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863518)

http://bacteriality.com/2007/09/15/vitamind/#8

The alternative hypothesis about rickets and vitamin D that includes references to studies demonstrating rickets is caused by calcium deficiency not vitamin d deficiency.

Re:Vitamin D deficiency does not cause rickets (1)

bearflash (1671358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863622)

Vitamin D is a crucial component in aiding the body's absorption of calcium, so it's quite probably that there would be a link between rickets and lack of properly activated Vitamin D in your body

Re:Vitamin D deficiency does not cause rickets (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863934)

Vitamin D deficiency tends to cause calcium deficiency. The body can't properly absorb calcium without vitamin D.

What is this "sunlight"? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863526)

The part of the country I'm in has been having snow, rain, wind, and hail for months. Even if I were outdoors, I wouldn't get any of this mythical "sunlight" here.

Sunlight Explanation, via Wikipedia (1)

bearflash (1671358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863538)

Vitamin D is a prohormone, meaning that it has no hormone activity itself, but is converted to the active hormone 1,25-D through a tightly regulated synthesis mechanism. Production of vitamin D in nature always appears to require the presence of some UV light; even vitamin D in foodstuffs is ultimately derived from organisms, from mushrooms to animals, which are not able to synthesize it except through the action of sunlight at some point in the synthetic chain. For example, fish contain vitamin D only because they ultimately exist on calories from ocean algae which synthesize vitamin D in shallow waters from the action of solar UV.

Supplement with Vitamin D3 softgels, 5000IU/day (2, Informative)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863642)

A healthy level of vitamin D in the blood should be around 60 ng/mL. In order to reach that, you'll have to supplement with the animal version of vitamin D, which is the liquid softgel Vitamin D3, and not the hard tablet D2 that's made from plant matter. If it just says "Vitamin D", chances are it's D2, and you should avoid that.

Take about 4,000 to 8,000 IU per day and you're golden. On top of that, your immune system will be able to fight off the common colds that everyone else gets each year due to D deficiency.

And don't bother trying to supplement with sun. Spending our lives in the shade has dramatically reduced our ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D.

Sources: this cardiologist [blogspot.com] and this neurobiologist [blogspot.com]

Iodized salt (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863702)

I believe that prepared foods do not use iodized salt. You only can only get it with salt in its raw granular form. Otherwise, most people would get too much iodine in their diet.

If people stayed in their house all day and gamed (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863710)

Wouldn't there also be a sizable drop in the percentages of STD's contracted, unplanned pregnancies, traffic accidents, drunk and disorderly conduct, and homicides?

I hear similar thing happens in England (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863788)

This is quite credible. I recall reading a situation in Britain where some first generation immigrants did not understand that in certain parts of England the sun was not as bright as in other places. When the mothers took the babies out for walks, everyone was covered and skin as not exposed to the sun. It was reported that issues related with vitamin D deficiencies were common in mothers and some babies.

I wonder if kids get any sun. I see my neighbors inside all the time, they even have an attached garage. Schools are limited recess to practice for federally mandated testing. It is little wonder that so many of the kids are little weakling(even compared to my geeks peer group).

Mod parent up; more on vitamin D (0, Redundant)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863854)

Most people in the USA are vitamin D deficient, and it has been linked to depression, schizophrenia, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, autism, influenza, and more. More on getting the right level of vitamin D through using D3 gelcaps or other means:
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/treatment.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]

Or another item on that blog on blood testing if you supplement:
  http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/why-rda-for-vitamin-d.html [blogspot.com]

Another site:
http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ [grassrootshealth.net]

A quiz on vitamin D:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/09/06/test-your-vitamin-d-knowledge.aspx [mercola.com]

"Might Influenza be Little More Than a Symptom of Vitamin D Deficiency?"
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/10/21/avoid-flu-shots-vitamin-d-is-a-better-way.aspx [mercola.com]

Many people suggest the right amount of sun exposure may still be best, but it is hard to get. If you have darker skin and work indoors, it may be almost impossible even in summer to get enough sunlight far from the equator:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health/autism/the-black-community.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]
http://curtisduncan.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-michelle-obama-is-more-likely-to.html [blogspot.com]

yuo 7ail 1t (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863866)

happiness another

Milk -- it does a body good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863952)

I've been playing video games in a "prolonged" manner for 20 years. I used to drink milk for every meal. No rickets. In fact, I still have all my teeth and have only broken two bones (the same pinky twice from various injuries during gym class).

Drink milk.

Sunlight emitting gaming tanning salon displays (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863956)

Isn't this the obvious answer? Keep your rickets in check, while enjoying your favorite game, while getting a great tan to impress that date, that you will never get . . .

. . . might as well die of rickets: Game fast, die young, leave a rickets infested corpse.

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