Memes may contribute to teenage obesity, lawmakers told

Stock photo of a "distracted boyfriend," which has spurred internet memes.

(CNN)It's been a bad few weeks for memes.

In mid-September the European Parliament passed a new copyright law that some have dubbed a "meme ban."
Then Sweden's advertising watchdog ruled that the popular "distracted boyfriend" meme is sexist.
Now, academics have told British lawmakers that internet memes may be contributing to the UK obesity crisis and doing harm to teenagers on a significant scale.
    Memes carry dangerous health-related messages and make light of unhealthy eating habits, researchers from Loughborough University wrote in a letter sent to a British parliamentary committee.
    "A substantial number of individuals on Twitter share health-related Internet memes, with both positive and negative messages," they wrote, noting that many "contain inappropriate material."