In a recent study, reported by the BBC, children who are looked after by their grandparents on a regular basis are more likely to be come overweight that those who go to nursery or to a child-minder. From the 12,000 children, aged 3, that were studied, there was a 34% increased risk of being overweight if they were cared for by their grandparents.
The reason is thought to be simple – treats. Many grandparents love to give little treats to their grandchildren at every possible opportunity. Whether it is a cookie to stop them crying or a cake to congratulate them, grandparents want to give children then treats that they often missed out on as children.
Also, pre-school nurseries encourage more physical activity that grandparents often manage. Children now have physical education lessons and are encouraged to jump, run and dance.
Also in the news is a report that reveals that a future of obesity is determined by the age of 2 years. In a survey of 100 obese children, research revealed that about half of them were overweight before they reached 2 years old, and 90% were overweight by 5 years.
The message is clear – to prevent children becoming overweight, the problem must be tackled from birth onwards. Many parents feel that a little “baby fat” is OK and that children will grow out of it, however this does not appear to be the case. Overweight toddlers go on to become overweight children, and then overweight and obese adults.
Source: International Journal of Obesity