In­dul­gent rel­a­tives ‘killing their grand­chil­dren with kind­ness’

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Sarah Knap­ton SCI­ENCE EDI­TOR

GRAND­PAR­ENTS are in­ad­ver­tently in­creas­ing their grand­chil­dren’s can­cer risk by giv­ing them too many treats and al­low­ing them to loaf around, pub­lic health ex­perts have warned.

A re­view of 56 stud­ies found grand­par­ents may be killing chil­dren with kind­ness, by over­feed­ing them with snacks and sweets, which sets the stage for obe­sity and ill­ness in later life.

Chil­dren’s char­i­ties warned that grand­par­ents of­ten “bring out the bis­cuits at the slight­est hint of a tantrum” and keep young­sters “un­der house ar­rest” be­cause they fear los­ing them out­doors. The anal­y­sis was car­ried out by the Med­i­cal Re­search Coun­cil’s Pub­lic Health Sci­ence Unit at Glas­gow

‘Reg­u­larly treat­ing chil­dren in­creases can­cer risks as they grow into adult­hood’

Univer­sity, con­clud­ing that health cam­paigns should tar­get grand­par­ents to warn them of the dangers.

“Be­hav­iour such as ex­po­sure to smok­ing and reg­u­larly treat­ing chil­dren in­creases can­cer risks as chil­dren grow into adult­hood,” said Dr Stephanie Cham­bers, the lead au­thor.

“Grand­par­ents are not the fo­cus of pub­lic health mes­sag­ing tar­geted at par­ents and per­haps this is some­thing that needs to change.”

Tam Fry, of the Child Growth Foun­da­tion, said: “A dot­ing grand­par­ent con­fi­dent enough to fol­low rules laid down by mum and to the let­ter is fre­quently a rar­ity.”

Lucy Peake, of Grand­par­ents Plus, said: “The more they’re in­formed and en­abled to play a pos­i­tive role in their grand­chil­dren’s lives, the bet­ter things will be.” The re­search was pub­lished in the jour­nal PLOS One.

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