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Grandparent Care Increases Tots' Weight Risk: Study

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Young children are more likely to be overweight if they're regularly looked after by their grandparents, a British study contends.

University College London researchers studied 12,000 three-year-olds and found that those who received full-time care from grandparents were 34 percent more likely to be overweight than those who went to nursery school or were looked after by a babysitter, BBC News reported.

Children looked after by grandparents part-time were 15 percent more likely to be overweight for their age than those who received full-time care by parents. The study appears in the International Journal of Obesity.

Overindulgence and lack of physical activity may be among the reasons why grandparent care increases children's risk of being overweight, said study leader Prof. Catherine Law, BBC reported.

"One of the ways forward would be to talk to small groups of grandparents to see the challenges they face," she said. "Some of the things that might help would be educating the population in general about healthy lifestyles but also things like avoiding food as a reward and suggestions for building activities into daily life."

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