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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Obesity In Children May Be Triggered By Grandparents' TLC, Study Finds

Obesity in kids

(Photo : Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) Obesity in children may be triggered by grandparents' pampering.

Children taken care of by grandparents tend to be twice as likely to be obese than children brought up by their parents, reports a study published on Friday, July 17, carried out in Southern Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Hechi.

Few studies in the past conducted in the UK and the U.S. suggested that obesity in children could be triggered by grandparents' too much of tender, love and care. Though it is weird to think that grandparents spoil their grandchildren, excessive care and too much of pampering have two folds increased risk of affecting the child's health and making them overweight, according to Mirror.

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Dr Bai Li, the co-author of the study and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Birmingham, said that "Our study reveals grandparents contribute to childhood obesity in China through inappropriate perception, with many sharing the belief fat children are healthy and inaccurate knowledge, believing obesity related diseases only happen in adults."  

Children that are cared by grandparents are more likely to have junk foods and unhealthy snacks than those under their parents' supervision, reports Eurekalert. Grandparents over-feed the children as well as not let children perform any physical activity or household chores.

Professor Peymane Adab, of University of Birmingham, explained that since academics is given more importance in China, grandparents make children sit down for studying instead of other activities like playing or running around. Grandparents also prefer the children staying in one place than running in and around the house as it is not possible for them to run behind them.

Li also added, "The inappropriate behaviour of grandparents, including overfeeding and indulging through excusing the children from household chores, is another contributing factor, and differs greatly from that of parents, carers and school teachers."

The co-author also emphasized the importance of a healthy atmosphere for promoting good health in children. The researcher explains that difference of opinions in child care between parents and grandparents as well as parents and teachers might result in deteriorating the efforts made in providing effective care, reported Mirror.

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