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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.)

        1. 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.

          1. 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!

            1. 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

              1. 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.

        2. 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!

          1. 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).

          2. 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.

        3. Pete4000uk

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

          Play outside?

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

        4. Fungus Bob Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Ivy, Lux, Nick

          Upvote for the Cramps reference.

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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?

        ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      there is always somebody who is thinner than average

      1. Nolveys Silver badge
        Headmaster

        there is always somebody who is thinner than average

        Not true, only 50% of the time.

    2. 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?

      1. 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 ...

        1. 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.

          ;)

          1. 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 :-)

      2. 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?

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Trollface

      (Insert Roll Safe Guy HERE!)

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

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  4. 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.

    1. anonanonanon

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

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Exactly. Perfect example.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

    1. 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.

      1. 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".

      2. 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.

        1. 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 )

        2. 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...

    2. 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.

  9. 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?

    1. 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 -->

      1. 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.

  10. SVV Silver badge

    Meemz is bad LOL!

    I'm lovin' it!

  11. 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?

  12. defiler Silver badge

    Remember the good old days?

    When we had misinformation on health issues handed around the playground without the internet? With such gems as "you can use a crisp bag as a condom, just not salt and vinegar."

    Kids today, don't know they're living.

    1. A-nonCoward
      Facepalm

      Re: Remember the good old days?

      guess who it was that didn't pay attention to the salt and vinegar advice...

      there's wisdom in them playgrounds

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Remember the good old days?

        Mars Bar wrappers are apparently a better fit.

        1. quxinot

          Re: Remember the good old days?

          >Mars Bar wrappers are apparently a better fit.<

          The "fun sized" are a bit insulting, though.

  13. The Nazz Silver badge

    Ah i miss the old Polytechnics.*

    Doesn't quite explain the *epidemic* of increasing numbers of pre-school kids being obese. Other than their parents, who are more often than not, rolling out the barrel themselves.

    On a serious note, i do wish the Gov't, Health Authorities whoever would stop lumping "overweight and obese" together as one category, as in 67% of pre-teens are overweight or obese. There's a huge difference between a BMI of 25.5 and 30+.

    I know young kids are generally quite short for their height but something's not right.

    *I've made an assumption here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah i miss the old Polytechnics.*

      A divorced neighbour had his kids living with him. Preteens full of energy and skinny. Then they went to live with their mother. About a year later I saw them - and they had put on a lot of excess weight. Recently I saw one of them - and it was a shame that as a teenager she is now very fat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        BMI.....

        I sing the nation’s bloated BMI,

        a hypothyroid fat-enveloped Muse –

        Gargantua with chafing-reddened thighs;

        a waddling blimp with Love and Hate tattoos.

        I sing Britannia’s swollen arse and arms,

        her triple chins and menopausal spread;

        her cellulite and faded female charms –

        her suppurating tits and hams like lead.

        I sing the country’s dumpy teenage drones,

        the adolescent throwbacks rolled in flab –

        the cardboard-copy drive-thru lard-arse clones,

        engorged with shitty beer and cheap kebab.

        I sing this island’s chronic heart disease:

        oh thin the herd, oh thin the herd, oh please.

        // Anathematos.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Ah i miss the old Polytechnics.*

      "There's a huge difference between a BMI of 25.5 and 30+."

      No difference at all, really, when you consider that BMI is pretty much meaningless. I am about 5'11", and weigh 212 pounds (15 stone to you Brits, 96 kilos to the more enlightened world). According to the BMI, I am obese with a BMI of just over 30 ... In reality, I am quite fit & healthy. My body fat percentage hovers around 4%. Another example: Da Governator in his Terminator body would be considered "morbidly obese" according to BMI.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Ah i miss the old Polytechnics.*

        Kilo's civilised? We're supposed to pretend that France is civilised now?

        PC gone mad!

  14. antman

    Kids playing outside

    Yes, they do. The kid opposite is often kicking his football up, down and across our quiet (traffic-wise) street; sometimes alone or sometimes with a friend. Quite refreshing to see and his ball-skills are such as not to cause a nuisance. The teenagers hanging about on the corner are also outside but they have mobile phones to play with.

  15. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    memes & social networks

    Is the 'general happiness' from memes sufficient to counteract the depression caused by instagram & facebook ?

  16. Jay Lenovo

    Laughy Taffy

    So it must follow, a cure for anorexia would be a diet of dank memes?

  17. NanoMeter

    In the end

    ...they will always have video games to blame for laziness, fatness and violence.

    Soon when the Fortnite generation of kids and youths grow up they will blame Fortnite for everything.

  18. Moosh

    Poor nutrition awareness has always been a thing - memes aside. People still think fat is bad for you. People don't understand the issue is the amount consumed, not the fact that its fat. People still think fat consumed turns to fat in the body. People still don't understand losing weight is literally calories in vs calories out, because they vastly underestimate caloric consumption and overestimate caloric usage.

    Not only this, but labelling on food products is outright WRONG. They will honestly list a fucking egg and bacon sandwich as having 30g of protein in it, which is fucking impossible with how little bacon is actually in it.

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