14/08/2014 12:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Scurvy And Rickets Return Because Of Children's Junk Food Diets

Scurvy and rickets return because of kids' junk food diets

Scurvy and rickets are on the rise because of children's junk food diets, it has been revealed.

Cases of the 'wartime diseases' have risen in parts of the UK where some parents rely on takeaways and microwave meals to feed their families.

Dietitians in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, said they were seeing an increase in both diseases, which were thought to have been consigned to history.

Dr Mark Temple, of the British Medical Association's public health committee, said: "Food standards in the UK are worse now than they were during the rationing during the war."

He added that it was a 'strong indictment on the food industry'.

"Obesity is a major health threat and we ought to be doing something about it," he said.

Wartime rationing began in January 1940 and one person's typical weekly allowance was one fresh egg, 4oz of margarine and bacon (about four rashers), 2oz of butter and tea, 1oz of cheese and 8oz of sugar.

Sioned Quirke, a dietitian in the Rhondda Valley, said she believed that for some population groups, diet and nutrition were as poor as 100 years ago.

"The difference between now and then is that this is out of choice," she said.

"People say that fruit and vegetables are not affordable when in fact they are.

"Rickets and scurvy are coming back. When I was training 10 years ago we were told about these as past conditions."

Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D and calcium, and can lead to bone deformities. Scurvy is triggered by vitamin C deficiency, which causes joint pain and a swelling of the gums.