The increasing numbers of squat and dumpy children in British families is not due to poor diets and a lack of exercise as first thought but is, experts believe, a symptom of the proliferation of widescreen televisions in the nation’s homes.
A study sponsored by the Department of Health discovered that among the external factors that effect the development of infants, the anthropomorphic representations we see on our TV screens exert the largest influence. ‘As kids we spend a large portion of our time sat in front of the TV,’ said Dr. Michelle Calder, a leading paediatrician. ‘Back in the ‘70’s our favourite characters appeared tall and slim on our square, 4:3 aspect ratio sets, whereas on today’s 16:9 widescreens they are squashed and stocky individuals. It’s inevitable that our bodies will change in response to this.’
According to Dr. Calder, the phenomenon is not a new one: ‘Just look at our elderly population: people who grew up in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s and who are now wobbly, ill-defined, sepia-tinged folk who require a bit of a warm-up to get going. To this day most of them refuse to go to bed until they’ve had the national anthem played to them.’
The Department of Health is recommending drastic measures to counter the ‘widescreen effect’. ‘We had a choice of either rationing the amount of time children spend watching television or installing special medieval-style stretch racks in nurseries and schools. Most parents have indicated a preference for the more sensible option – turning off the telly is just too difficult a pill to swallow.’
If the trend continues, advances in TV technology will see British youth evolving into ovular, Weeble-shaped adults, it is claimed, although Dr. Calder admits that there will be a number of advantages. ‘Developments in HD will ensure that we'll all enjoy flawless complexions - lest we’re outcast as social lepers. Furthermore the rise in 3D transmissions will mean that I shall be able to deter any potential sex attacker – emboldened no doubt by the latest immersive surround sound ‘torture porn’ movie or episode of Eastenders - by waving my finger at him at 50 yards and poking his eye out. Proof if any were needed that television really does ruin your eyesight.’