Obesity, Chemicals Causing Some Girls to Hit Puberty as Young as 7: Study
An eye-opening study in today's NY Times suggests that some girls in America are hitting puberty at abnormally young ages (as young as 7) due to obesity and chemicals:
A new study finds that girls are more likely today than in the past to start developing breasts by age 7 or 8. The research is just the latest in a flood of reports over the last decade that have led to concern and heated debate about whether girls are reaching puberty earlier, and why it might be happening.Increased rates of obesity are thought to play a major role, because body fat can produce sex hormones. Some researchers also suspect that environmental chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen may be speeding up the clock on puberty, but that idea is unproved.
Dr. Frank Biro, author of the study, on exposure to chemicals:
"It’s certainly throwing up a warning flag...I think we need to think about the stuff we’re exposing our bodies to and the bodies of our kids. This is a wake-up call, and I think we need to pay attention to it."