Do Children Raised By Their Grandparents Have An Increased Risk Of Childhood Obesity?
A disturbing study of British children found that among 12,000 3-year-olds, the risk of childhood obesity was 34% higher if grandparents cared for the children full-time.
Parents as caregivers and other substitutes like daycare centers and babysitters did not produce an increased risk of obesity, but grandparents as caregivers did.
While the study did not investigate the precise reasons why grandparents appeared to lead to greater obesity among these children, it is speculated that a more indulgent attitude toward sweets and treats and food choices may be the answer. What we might fondly recall as the sweet doting grandmother or grandfather who indulged us in home baked cookies and treats might have a darker implication in today’s environment of escalated childhood obesity. Grandparents may also be less physically active and may promote less physical activity among small children.