Grandparents should come with child health warning, say scientists
GRANDPARENTS ARE a potential health hazard for children and may even increase their risk of cancer, say scientists who claim they spoil their grandchildren with sweet “treats” and big helpings of fattening food, and expose their young lungs to secondhand tobacco smoke.
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.
Lead author Dr Stephanie Chambers, of the University of Glasgow’s Public Health Sciences Unit, 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.
“Currently grandparents are not the focus of public health messaging targeted at parents; perhaps this is something that needs to change given the prominent role grandparents play in the lives of children.”
The team analysed data from 56 studies and 18 countries. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Both nan and grandpa can leave themselves wide open to manipulative and increasingly savvy grandchildren in their desire to please the little darlings. They bring out the biscuits at the slightest hint of a tantrum.”
DR STEPHANIE CHAMBERS: ‘Grandparents’ sugary treats and smoking impact on child health.’