Kids' health put at risk by grandparents

Kids' health put at risk by grandparents

According to Dr. Stephanie Chambers, the study's lead author, the results of their review clearly showed that grandparents have a hand in increasing cancer risks in their grandchildren.

Grandparents may be unknowingly negatively affecting their grandchildren's health by being indulgent, says a new study.

Based on their findings, the researchers discovered that grandparents were inadvertently adversely affecting the health of their grandchildren, particularly in the areas of diet and weight, by overfeeding, giving treats, and not promoting physical activity.

Smoking, diet and a lack of physical activity, along with excess weight, have been identified as risk factors for non-communicable disease, particularly cancer. Parents quoted in the studies suggested that grandparents used food as an emotional tool, with many feeding their grandchildren high-sugar or high-fat foods as treats.

Lead researcher Dr Stephanie Chambers said: "From the studies we looked at, it appears that parents often find it hard to discuss the issues of passive smoking and over-treating grandchildren".

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The researchers, from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, produced their results by looking at data on grandparent care in 18 countries, including the U.S. and United Kingdom, from 56 studies. In response to changing circumstances, when parents are forced to spend more time at work, grandparents are increasingly raising grandchildren.

The study focused on the influence of grandparents who were significant, but not primary caregivers in children's early years.

"With both smoking and obesity being the two biggest preventable causes of cancer in the United Kingdom, it's important for the whole family to work together".

Grandparents want the best for their grandchildren and the more they're informed and enabled to play a positive role in their grandchildren's lives the better things will be'.

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's prevention expert, said: "Children's health can be affected by range of factors, and this study reinforces the importance of the broader family picture". We know that children benefit enormously from having close relationships with their grandparents right through childhood into adolescence. Too much concern leads to children obesity, they become unable to defend themselves, when faced with life's difficulties.

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