Kids’ health ‘put at risk by grand­par­ents’

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY JOHN VON RAD­OWITZ

GRAND­PAR­ENTS are a po­ten­tial health haz­ard for chil­dren — and may even in­crease their risk of can­cer, sci­en­tists have said.

They spoil their grand­chil­dren with sweet treats and big help­ings of fat­ten­ing food, and ex­pose their lungs to sec­ond-hand to­bacco smoke, it is claimed.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary claims are based on a re­view of re­search into the in­flu­ence grand­par­ents have on life­style fac­tors that can sow the seeds of can­cer in later life.

Over­all, grand­par­ents were found to have an ad­verse ef­fect, de­spite mean­ing well.

In many cases, such as re­ward­ing good be­hav­iour with sweets, they were putting the health of their grand­chil­dren at risk with kind­ness.

Dr Stephanie Cham­bers of the Univer­sity of Glas­gow said: “While the re­sults of this re­view are clear that be­hav­iour such as ex­po­sure to smok­ing and reg­u­larly treat­ing chil­dren in­creases can­cer risks as chil­dren grow into adult­hood, it is also clear from the ev­i­dence that these risks are un­in­ten­tional.”

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