Grandparent behaviour appears to have a negative impact on children’s long-term cancer risks
Stephanie Chambers, Research Fellow MRC/CSO SPHSU, is lead author on a recently published systematic review in PLOS ONE, ‘A systematic review of grandparents’ influence on grandchildren’s cancer risk factors’. The review looked at 56 studies with data from 18 countries, concerning the care provided by grandparents. Overall, grandparents were inadvertently having an adverse impact on their grandchildren’s health, especially in the areas of weight and diet – through ‘treating,’ overfeeding, and lack of physical activity. There were also negative impacts as a result of tobacco smoke by not complying with parents’ wishes regarding second-hand smoke and role-modelling negative behaviour. The review concludes that health professionals and messages need to target the wider family rather than just parents to ensure that both are working together to promote health in children.
First published: 17 November 2017