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Gaming does NOT cause rickets - official

... so says the writer of the report that last week's headlines seized on

The professor quoted by last week's national newspaper stories linking video games to rickets is a hero. Why? Because he's now offered this quote: "We do not say that gaming causes rickets"

You see, no amount of tabloid manipulation can alter those words. They are clean, crisp... true.

Dr Timothy Cheetham, Newcastle University senior lecturer and Royal Victoria Infirmary consultant, helped write the report from which those headlines were born.

The study found that many kids were not getting enough Vitamin D from sunlight - while a lack of vitamin D can cause rickets.

Both The Times and Metro ran headlines specifically naming video games as a cause of the illness.

However, talking to video games analyst Nicholas Lovell (doing a national newspaper journalist's job in his spare time, it seems), Cheetham said:

"I understand METRO has said that we have linked computers to rickets, whereas we are actually saying lack of outdoor activity in childhood is a risk for poor D nutritional state...

"We do not say that gaming causes rickets...

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

In a similar email to games-supporting MP (yes, they do exist ) Tom Watson Tom Watson, Cheetham's fellow professor, Simon Pearce, who also contributed to the report, went one further.

He said: "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 three words out of PA's hyped-up version of our press release."

Sweet music, hey readers?