Do fatty foods and added hormones cause early puberty in girls?

Girls enter puberty much earlier than in the past; this is particularly true for Black girls.

From Toronto’s Globe and Mail, describing a study published in journal Pediatrics:

Some girls are developing breasts and entering puberty earlier than they did even just a decade ago – increasingly at age 7 and 8….

“Earlier maturation in girls is associated with lower self-esteem and less favourable body image, as well as greater rates of eating problems, depression and suicide attempts. They were more likely to be influenced by deviant peers, with earlier onset of sexual intercourse,” write the authors of a new study on early onset puberty that suggests obesity rates factor heavily in the shift.

Overweight and obese girls were significantly more likely to grow breasts earlier, and the authors hypothesize that’s because body fat can produce sex hormones. Black girls were also found to develop earlier than other girls: Some 23 per cent had begun puberty at age 7, compared to 10 per cent of white girls and 15 per cent of Hispanic girls.

Make sure your girls (and boys, too!) eat a balanced diet, with lots of vegetables and less fat (and less fast food), and live an active life with limited screen time….

A group of girls wait for the start of a water aerobics class at New Image Weight Loss Camp at Camp Pocono Trails July 19, 2002 in Reeders, Pennsylvania. Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images 2002 Getty Images

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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