Today in Mixed Messages: making grandma babysitter will make your kids fat.

This is all very confusing. When the Obamas moved into the White House with grandmother in tow, it was hailed as a return to a best-for-all-parties family dynamic in which older generations helped out with childcare. Then Michelle Obama declared war on childhood obesity. But a new study finds that letting grandparents tend kids results in a higher risk of childhood obesity. What are we supposed to think now?! And what of Sasha and Malia?

As Babble summarizes,

Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the study examined the weights of thousands of three-year-olds and looked at who was caring for them. They found "informal" daycare arrangements - typically with a grandparent - put kids at a higher risk for childhood obesity than a formal daycare setting or staying home with a parent...The risk was heightened if the granny daycare arrangement was full-time.

Why? Well, grandparents love to spoil their grandkids and give them what they want. What they want is often junk food they can't eat at home. Adds blogger Jeanne Sager,

Also a likely factor? The older you get, the less active you typically can be - throwing much of the activity level out the window. Even a hands-on grandparent who engages kids in crafts and worksheets all day to stimulate their mind needs to be aware that they need to get them moving as well.


I wonder, though, if this dynamic won't shift as the boomer generation, increasingly, become the grandparents in question: the first generation, after all, to equate organics with godliness is hardly likely to keep a larder of Mallomars and lunchables. Indeed, the power struggles are likely to be of a very different caliber all around. Or just stick them with my grandparents, trapped with no edible food and the occasioal bowl of shredded wheat swimming with weevils. The pounds drop off, if that's your concern. And is anyone else seeing a public service announcement role for the Grandma-in-chief?

They Say: Granny Daycare Makes Kids Fat [Babble]
Image via Reviving Motherhood