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Ground-breaking research reveals grandparents are contributing to childhood obesity. Their tendency to give treats is having long-lasting affects on our children.

Alice Monfries, 9NEWS reports we all know how much grandparents love spoiling their grandbabies, but those harmless treats are having a massive impact on long term health.

A study at Flinders University focusing on the early years of life discovered grandparents are having a big impact on the health and lifelong choices of their grandchildren.

Exposing them to foods high in fat, salt and sugar increases their preferences for the treats.

Dr Lucinda Bell said these sorts of foods do result in poor eating patterns and increase the risk of obesity.

While they may not realise those early years of diet have a massive impact on health later in life.

Educating and supporting grandparents is the key to help improve health for both children and grandparents.

In 2014 around one fifth (22%) of all Australian children aged 0-12years were cared for regularly by their grandparents.

In 2011, 60% of young children (aged 0–4 years) regularly attended some type of child care (formal or informal). Of these children, 50% were cared for by a grandparent.

Oh, that was always the best part of staying at nan’s house! I miss the good old days.

Share your comments below.

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  • That’s for sure lol

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  • The problem is that lollies these days are far worse ingredients in them than what they did in the grandparents day.

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  • But that’s what Grandparents do – spoil grandchildren with goodies!. I think the fact here is the grandchildren are spending so much time with their grandparents that the weekly occasional treat that I used to get as a child after Sunday lunch at Granny’s is given almost daily,

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  • I also think that grandparents are generally more indulgent with the grand-kids than we parents are. Some rules need to be put down from the beginning.

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  • Grandparents here do not overindulge in treats.

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  • Granparents to tend to have a treat for the little ones but they don’t mean to harm them!

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  • My mum and my partners grandmother both give my kids lollies. I’ve had to tell them to stop it because they expect it every time they visit.

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  • My mum gives the occasional treat to my daughter, as do i

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  • As a nan I do not think giving my grand daughter foods that high in fat or sugar is good for her. i always try to give treats that have a hidden value in them. At the moment her favorite is cake but I give her veggie muffins and as a diabetic most of the foods I cook are good for her. My older children did get some treats from their grand parents but that was very rarely as we never really saw them.

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  • omg both grandparents feed my kids so much crap its not funny, including soft drink and multiple treats. note both are obese too.

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  • Give the poor grandparents a break!

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  • I have been told I’m mean because we don’t give anybody’s kids we mind lollies or junk food. Their main treats are yoghurt and flavoured straws in milk. They have a lot less sugar in them than flavours in powders that are in tins.

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  • I couldn’t agree more! My husband and I want to do baby led weening but my in laws just don’t get it and try giving her ‘food’ every chance they get!

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  • This isnt true with my mum!

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  • This is true at my mums house! She spoils the kids rotten but that’s the fun of visiting nan and pops.


    • Some grandparents spoil more than others too.

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