back to article From dank memes to Krispy Kremes: British uni eggheads claim viral lol pics make kids fat

Plus-sized pea-brained progenies, sorry, impressionable youths pile on the pounds because they're using internet memes as a handbook for living life. This is according to university researchers who say viral images online are contributing to unhealthy behavior and things like obesity in young people. A letter [PDF] provided to …

  1. jake Silver badge

    It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    More likely is that the sprog of humanity is sitting on their fat asses staring at the screen for hours on end, praying to Google that they don't miss whatever it is that the kids will be talking about at school on Monday morning.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    Very similar to the old "kids who watch too much TV" end up fat, etc., etc., etc. In my father's generation it was listening to too much radio and that damned "boogie woogie" music. So now it's memes. <shrugs> I wonder what will be blamed next? Doubtful it'll be bad parental influence or peer pressure.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    At least that damned boogie woogie[0] got us up off our asses!

    That said, it IS bad parenting. When was the last time you heard a parent yell at their kids "GO AND PLAY OUTSIDE!!!"? And obviously, there is a lot of peer pressure to keep up with the meme o't'day.

    [0] Personally, i dig that goddamn rock n roll, the kinda stuff that don't save souls; Ain't nuthin' good about it that i know, yea i dig that goddamn rock 'n' roll. (Thanks, Ivy. RIP Lux & Nick.)

  4. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    When was the last time you heard a parent yell at their kids "GO AND PLAY OUTSIDE!!!"?

    This last weekend in fact. Although I was the parent saying it. We as a family try to limit screen time of all kinds, especially when the weather is good.

    As an aside, the advert that really grips my shit lately is the sodding Velux indoor generation bollocks. Extensions for the indoor generation, my dimpled arse. That is what normalising unhealthy behaviour looks like, not memes and other bullshit like that, it's the fucking advertisers, as bloody usual. Want a generation of girls with negative body image? Thanks advertising! Need to legitimise never going outside? Thanks advertising! Promote eating food which is mostly salt and lard? Advertising! Go the fuck outside if you want daylight, with the added benefit of Vitamin D. Come to that, I would put money on there being a resurgence of rickets if this sort of thing continues.

    I was going to end this with "Rant over", but I suspect that it's not, so bollocks to it.

  5. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    Google?!... And, here I was thinking that all the cool kidds hung out on 4Chan.

  6. Mycho Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    Alternatively, because they're too busy with instant gratification technologies they can't be bothered to make proper food and end up eating ready meals.

  7. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
    Devil

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    @jake: Is that a parody of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll"? If so, cheers for the laugh. If not, I've already put the opening piano riff in your head; you're welcome!

  8. Rol Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    Reminds me of my adolescence and coming to terms with man sized tissues. I always considered it to be false advertising until my later years. Perhaps the market needs a teenage boy size tissue to overcome this.

    Fnah fnah!

  9. Pete4000uk

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    Play outside?

    You mean where the germs, terrorists and pedos are???

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Gimp

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    "Reminds me of my adolescence and coming to terms grips with man sized tissues. "

    FTFY

  11. Fungus Bob Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Ivy, Lux, Nick

    Upvote for the Cramps reference.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    Having a streaming cold today - I remembered a nearly full box of such tissues in the small guest room. Been there for nearly twenty years. It was put there when the room was allocated to a friend's teenage son when the family came for a holiday. One of the many "what might a guest need" things. It's amazing what travelling guests lose in their hotels en route - or forget to pack.

    Recently he told me that he remembered that and thought it most considerate. However he pointed out that as he was nominally Jewish some baby oil would have been useful. He had been too shy to ask or go searching in the main bathroom's cabinet.

  13. jake Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    "Is that a parody of "

    Kinda. More of a cover, with a twist. See here. Or, rather, hear there. No piano riff needed. Possibly NSFW (in which case you need a new job, you poor bastard).

  14. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    If not, I've already put the opening piano riff in your head; you're welcome!

    Gave me an earbug also... Decided to crank up some Bob Seger for background music today. Good times.

  15. Diogenes

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    As a teacher the meme that cheeses me off the most is "YOLO" , the excuse used by candidates for Darwin Awards to justify whatever stupidity it is they doing.

  16. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Re: It's probably not actually the memes themselves.

    What? How can you say that?

    https://topatoco.com/products/qc-yolo

    What's wrong with owls?

    ;)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If obesity rates continue to rise there won't be anyone left to do the ridiculing.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    there is always somebody who is thinner than average

  19. jake Silver badge

    Nah.

    All kids will always get ridiculed over one thing or another. It's part of growing up. It was considered normal up until the last couple of years, maybe a couple decades, when the namby-pambys decided to rename it "bullying".

    Well guess what, namby-pamby? It's still normal, kids still do it, and there is precisely NOTHING that you can do to prevent it. It's a part of growing up human. Deal with it. The rest of us survived just fine, what's your problem?

  20. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Trollface

    (Insert Roll Safe Guy HERE!)

    You can't ridicule fat People, if your also fat.

  21. jake Silver badge

    Re: Nah.

    One wonders if my 10 downvoters realize they are trying to "bully" me into conforming to their world view with their votes? Hypocrisy? They may have heard of it ...

  22. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Re: Nah.

    Why do children bully other children? Why are children cruel? Why is aggressive and cruel behaviour considered a way a child can gain social power? Why is it this behaviour which is simply accepted?

  23. jake Silver badge

    Re: Nah.

    Why? SImple. Genetics. The strong survive.

    Humans have been on this muddy rock for a couple million years. We've only been "civilized" for a couple thousand. Some would say we aren't civilized yet. Couple that short time with the number of years that a generation takes in our species, and is it any wonder that our basic tendencies are what they are? Give it another few thousand years and we may become a species you'd take home to meet YerDearOldMum ... but I wouldn't hold my breath.

  24. Nolveys Silver badge
    Headmaster

    there is always somebody who is thinner than average

    Not true, only 50% of the time.

  25. 404 Silver badge

    Re: Nah.

    >One wonders if my 10 downvoters realize they are trying to "bully" me into conforming to their world view with their votes? Hypocrisy? They may have heard of it ...

    Nah, everybody hates you, Jake.

    ;)

  26. jake Silver badge

    Re: Nah.

    Everybody? Thank heavens for that. I must be doing something right if I have managed to convince all y'all agree on something :-)

  27. Rol Silver badge

    Re: Nah.

    Children, by the time they are attending school, have picked up all the negative traits they will ever need to lead as full a miserable life as the parents that nurtured them.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If memes really are influencing dietary choices then I might start a dry and wet food business.

  29. werdsmith Silver badge

    Memes are a scourge. Used by people who are incapable of expressing themselves in words and more often than not containing some random picture or gif that has no relevance to what they are trying to say.

  30. anonanonanon

    Image of grandpa Simpson with caption "Old man yells at clouds"

  31. werdsmith Silver badge

    Exactly. Perfect example.

  32. wolfetone Silver badge

    You know what, they're right. I never used to drink alcohol, but then I saw the meme with the middle aged chap with the bottle of beer, and all I could do was drink Vodka.

    Clowns. Cure cancer or something useful instead of justifying your salary coming up with ridiculous bollocks like this.

  33. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Cure cancer or something useful instead of justifying your salary coming up with ridiculous bollocks like this.

    Looking at the letter (linked off the article) it appears to originate mainly from Loughborough University's world renowned school of PE, and to be "research" driven by keyword analysis of Facebook posts. PE teachers have been a waste of space since they were invented. There's nothing useful they're going to be solving anytime soon.

  34. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    I don't know why PE teachers get so much stick.

    Do you not remember getting your first secondary school timetable and realising that on one day a week you were being "forced" to play football for two straight lessons?

  35. wolfetone Silver badge

    "I don't know why PE teachers get so much stick.

    Do you not remember getting your first secondary school timetable and realising that on one day a week you were being "forced" to play football for two straight lessons?"

    Don't know what school you went to, but there was nothing fun about doing gymnastics for 2 hours straight with a teacher who used to be in the army.

  36. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Sod gymnastics. We got to play football, rugby, cricket, hockey, badminton, etc. Wrestling at the end of term.

    It was fantastic.

    Although we did have to do a couple of lessons of "modern dance" one year for some reason. I assume it was a box ticking exercise.

  37. ukgnome Silver badge

    I don't know about memes but I do know crisps are nice.

    Hey kids, stop looking at memes - eat crisps

    (if you can imagine this typed over a crisp packet it would help)

  38. Fading Silver badge
    Holmes

    Uni researchers unable to question assumptions....

    "is that kids associate memes with happiness regardless of the message"

    They need to study this bit first.

  39. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    Why do you even have a reference to Krispy Kremes in a headline?

    This cultural imperialism must stop. That's why we voted for Shitshow, er, Brexit.

    Yours,

    Disgusting of Tunbridge Wells, Retired (Mrs) etc...

  40. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    "Why do you even have a reference to Krispy Kremes in a headline?"

    I did wonder that too, however they do seem to be available everywhere across the UK these days. Personally, the name alone puts me right off them. "Krispy" sounds like advertising lawyer speak for "well, it's not really crispy" and "Kreme" reminds me of the horrible fake cream you used to get in iced buns and the like. Together, Krispy Kreme sounds vomit inducing to me.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    "[...] "Kreme" reminds me of the horrible fake cream you used to get in iced buns and the like.

    For some reason it triggers a picture in my mind of homicidal "Sideshow Bob".

  42. 404 Silver badge

    Re: Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    'Digestives'...

    This sounds like something that helps you shit - not a damn cookie...

    Krispy Kremes are a Southern thing - really good until the diabetes kicks in. Get a craving every year or so, buy a bunch, then go 'Oh yeah, these things are too fucking sweet', until next year.

    Edit: the chocolate covered Bavarian creme ones are my weakness... every year or so.

  43. Rol Silver badge

    Re: Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    It's a pity the yearly national budget for healthy eating promotion is less than a days advertising costs for just one of the millions of products that should only be eaten as a treat once or twice a year.

    "I wish it could be Christmas everyday", seems to have come true for too many people, who gorge themselves on a Christmas treat all year round.

    And when it comes to Christmas treats, what did Kraft do with Terry's Chocolate Ginger and Terry's Neapolitans - bought up and discontinued - Why? Perhaps because they couldn't be marketed all year round and also the consumers would have noticed straight away that half of the chocolate had been replaced with corn syrup. Terry's Chocolate Orange only survives because those who eat it now, have no recollection of what it used to taste like.

  44. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    I don't believe the English have as much of a sweet tooth as Americans. Digestives aren't particularly sweet, but they're great dunked in a brew. As are rich tea biscuits.

    ( I'm guessing you're a septic because you've confused cookie and biscuit )

  45. hplasm Silver badge
    Happy

    Re: Dear El Reg, as you are a British .co.uk site

    "'Digestives'...

    This sounds like something that helps you shit - not a damn cookie...""

    that's because they are a Biscuit.

    Bloody Colonists and their squishy flat buns...

  46. DougS Silver badge

    Memes are biased towards obesity?

    So people's minds are changed by them? I guess the solution is fewer memes about skipping the gym to drink wine, and more about hobbling up stairs after leg day?

  47. Korev Silver badge
    Pint

    Re: Memes are biased towards obesity?

    My FB feed was polluted for a while with Prosecco memes, now it seems to have shifted over towards Gin...

    What I drink instead -->

  48. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Memes are biased towards obesity?

    Gin is on the way out apparently. I'm not sure what's next but I am curious. Rum? I have a feeling that had a mini-fad before prosecco though.

    The craft ale fad did wonders for pubs though - you don't have to drink elderflower flavoured chocolate infused pilsners ( ? ) to benefit from the improved selection of cask beers available.

  49. SVV Silver badge

    Meemz is bad LOL!

    I'm lovin' it!

  50. Mage Silver badge
    Boffin

    French Kids

    They don't have the obesity epidemic of UK, USA and maybe Ireland.

    No vending machines in schools.

    You need a doctor's cert for a packed lunch.

    Are the memes relevant at all? What is the confident level on the research? Control groups?

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