Grandparents Are Making Children Chubby, Study Says

Grandparents are making children chubby. At least that’s the claim by a new major study conducted in Helsinki, Finland.

According to the New Zealand Herald, grandparents have become the “nutritional bogeyman” because of the unhealthy foods they give to their grandkids.

The study was conducted at the University of Helsinki and published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. The study warns that children who are looked after by their grandparents are more likely to be overweight. Researchers claim that grandparents are more likely to feed children ice cream, sugary treats, and other unhealthy foods.

Researchers have found that one in every three children aged three-years-old who were looked after by grandparents are obese.

The study is in direct contrast to the past in which children tended to live longer healthier lives when grandparental care was involved.

The current study was based on 9,000 families located in the United Kingdom. According to researchers:

“Our results show that the same grandmother behaviour that may have had beneficial effects for grandchildren in our evolutionary past may have opposite effects in modern societies.”

Researchers also note:

“Grandmother investment aimed at improving grandchildren’s nutrition in subsistence societies may have different outcomes in contemporary affluent societies.”

It appears according to the study that grandparents are not just handing kids sugar treats but also lack the understanding of today’s foods. With new additives and treats to choose from, grandparents simply don’t understand that many of the foods they give to their grandchildren are making them chubby or in some cases morbidly obese.

When researchers compared the weight of children raised by parents and grandparents, they found that 23.6 percent of all children were overweight. Children raised by their grandparents were overweight 26.2 percent of the time. Children raised by their parents were overweight 22.9 percent of the time.

Based on researcher numbers, children raised by their paternal grandparents experience a 31 percent increased risk of being overweight.

Unfortunately, the trend towards grandparents raising chubby children is likely to continue as more parents work long shifts and multiple jobs to keep the lights on and their children fed the very foods that are making them obese.

Do you think grandparents are making children chubby through bad food practices?

[Image via ShutterStock]