Research Says Spoiling The Grandkids May Have A Negative Effect On The Child's Health

Family & Kids

It is kind of a given that grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren with fun treats and special gifts. But as it turns out, even though they mean well, grandpa and grandma's actions may be harming the little one.

Many parents rely on grandparents when it comes to caregiving, so it makes sense to understand what kinds of effect this could have on the children.

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Some scientists in the UK analysed the many studies done on the lifestyle habits of grandparents caring for their grandchildren. The researchers took a look at 57 studies done in 18 countries. Majority of them focused on such habits as smoking, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating and how they affect the kids.

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Young children are more likely to learn lifestyle behaviours from the people around them so taking a closer look at those that influence them is necessary.

The study which was published in the journal, PLOS ONE, found a few ways grandparents' behaviour affected children's weight and eating habits.

  • Children are given too many sugary treats;
  • they are often given way too much to eat;
  • the grandparents do not encourage the kids to exercise
  • smoking sets a bad example and also introduce them to secondhand smoke.

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Sure, not all grandparents do these things and the ones who do do not deliberately set out to harm their grandchildren's health. Conversely, there are also some great benefits to having kids spend time with their grandparents.

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While responding to the result of this study, a cancer prevention expert, Linda Bauld, advised families to work together to encourage healthy behaviour.

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No one is perfect and these habits in children may even have even been influenced by the parents themselves. The important thing is for all family members to adopt healthy habits so the children can have positive examples to look up to.

Source: BabyCenter

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