Computer games and social networking sites such as Facebook are being blamed for the surge in the number of children suffering from rickets.

According to Professor Simon Pearce, spending hours indoors using a PC or games console means kids are not getting enough Vitamin D which helps prevent the disease that weakens bones.

"Kids tend to stay indoors more these days and play on their computers instead of enjoying the fresh air," Pearce said in the British Medical Journal.

"This means their vitamin D levels are worse than in previous years. The number of patients still presenting with symptoms of vitamin D deficiency shows we have a long way to go".

However, CEO of The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA), Richard Wilson, told the Metro: "It would be completely wrong to put this issue on the doorstep of video games, which can be beneficial. Things like Wii Fit can encourage exercise."

See also: 39% of parents let kids play unsuitable computer games