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Mirror front page attacks games for 'giving kids cancer'

Yet experts make no direct link in newspaper article

National UK paper The Mirror has splashed on its front page an extraordinary warning that playing video games causes cancer in children.

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The daily's top story claimed in its headline: "TV & Computer Craze is giving kids cancer", with the story suggesting that this claim was based on research provided by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

"Children who are hooked on TV, computer games and the web are at a greater risk of getting cancer in later life," the article began.

However, none of the experts cited in the article have directly linked game playing to cancer.

A spokesperson for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health told CVG that its message was specifically about sedentary lifestyles in young people, which is linked to numerous health risks.

"That's not something we've been commenting on," a spokesperson said when asked about gaming's alleged link to cancer.

The article goes on to claim that children should not spend more than two hours per day in front of screens, and claims that the current UK average is 5.9 hours.

Kate Mendoza, of the World Cancer Research Fund, warned:

"Children may well get plenty of physical activity at school through sports or playing but if they spend a lot of time sitting down at home they might develop habits which could increase their risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes in the future."

Professor Mitch Blair of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, added:

"Whether it's mobile phones, games consoles, TVs or laptops, advances in technology mean children are exposed to screens for longer amounts of time than ever before. We are becoming increasingly concerned that this encourages a more sedentary lifestyle."

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