Health Care

'Indulgent grandparents may be bad for children's health'

'Indulgent grandparents may be bad for children's health'”

Grandparents' kindly behavior negatively affecting children's health and even increases the risk of diseases such as cancer, according to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Glasgow.

Parents who frequently leave their children with grandparents could be damaging their health and ultimately increasing their risk of getting cancer, scientists have warned.

They are also more likely to expose them to second-hand tobacco smoke - a major cause of cancer, researchers say.

The authors emphasised that none of the reviewed studies took account of the positive emotional benefit of children spending time with their grandparents.

Scottish scientists from the University of Glasgow conducted a study of the influence of excessive care of grandparents on the lives of grandchildren.

It found that, overall, grandparents were inadvertently having an adverse impact on their grandchildren's health, especially in the areas of weight and diet - through 'treating, ' overfeeding, and lack of physical activity.

Lead author Dr. Stephanie Chambers said that now, the researchers are not focusing on grandparents, however, perhaps this is something that needs to change given the important role grandparents play in the lives of children. Smoking, a poor diet and a lack of physical activity can cause diseases such as cancer. The problem was shown most clearly for weight, with half of the studies suggesting that grandparents made children heavier and none finding they made them slimmer.

Changes in social conditions, such as more women in the workforce, childcare costs, and an increase in lone parenting, have led to an increased focus on the role of grandparents' in grandchildren's lives.

The findings are published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.

"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". Too much concern leads to children obesity, they become unable to defend themselves, when faced with life's difficulties.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said it was the case that some grandparents "bring out the biscuits at the slightest hint of a tantrum".

"Unfortunately... parents increasingly need to rely on this free form of childminding".

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