Grandparents | Family

Spoiling Your Grandkids Could Give Them Cancer

Grandparents love spoiling their grandkids, there's no question about that. It's an opportunity to bond and make life-lasting memories.

I remember all the baking I got to do with both my grandmothers and how I always felt so special when they let me help them. I remember my Grandpa and I on the beach while on vacation in Florida, and I still laugh when I think of the stories my Grampy tells.

Me and my Grandpa walking through a corn maze. Personal Photos

A new study shows, however, that the more spoiled grandkids are, the higher their risk of getting cancer later in life. And no, this isn't an excuse that parents are making to avoid travelling or seeing their in-laws. The University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh, the National Health Service, and the Uiversity of Stirling all collaborated to find out the link between spoiled grandkids and their likelihood of developing cancer.

The study found that certain behaviors from grandparents can increase a child's risk of developing cancer later in life.

These behaviors include:

  • Overfeeding
  • Offering unhealthy foods/treats too frequently
  • Not being as strict on screen time/other sedentary behaviors

More often than not, these behaviors from grandparents are an effort to win over the affections of their grandkids, but at what cost?

"Evidence indicated that, overall, grandparents had an adverse impact on their grandchildren’s cancer risk factors. The evidence was strongest for grandparents having an adverse impact on children’s weight outcomes," the study states. "Similar to weight, grandparents overall appeared to have an adverse impact on their grandchildren’s diets."

That being said, the researchers also want to point out that spending time with grandparents isn't exclusively bad.

"Grandparents may be better able to spend time with their grandchildren in ways that parents are unable to," they go on to say. "This can help facilitate good social and emotional well-being in grandchildren, and therefore, any recommendation to limit grandparent interaction with their grandchildren would be misplaced."

The best solution to this is to make sure the whole family is on the same page when it comes to the kids. Just because they're at grandma and grandpa's doesn't mean all the rules go out the window!

Do you stick to strict rules when watching your grandkids?