Obesity May be Driving Earlier Puberty in Girls | Psych Central News

Obesity May be Driving Earlier Puberty in GirlsNew research shows obesity is the largest predictor of earlier puberty in girls, which is affecting white girls much sooner than previously reported.

The multi-institutional study published in the journal Pediatrics confirms that girls of all races are beginning puberty at a younger age, a longstanding observation in the U.S.

“The impact of earlier maturation in girls has important clinical implications involving psychosocial and biologic outcomes,” said Frank Biro, M.D., lead investigator.

“The current study suggests clinicians may need to redefine the ages for both early and late maturation in girls.”

Researchers have observed that girls with earlier maturation are at risk for a multitude of challenges, including lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, norm-breaking behaviors and lower academic achievement.

Experts say early maturation also results in greater risks of obesity, hypertension and several cancers — including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer .

The study was conducted through the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Program, established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.

Researchers at centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cincinnati and New York City examined the ages of 1,239 girls at the onset of breast development and the impact of body mass index and race/ethnicity.

The girls ranged in age from 6 to 8 years at enrollment and were followed at regular intervals from 2004 to 2011. Researchers used well-established criteria of pubertal maturation, including the five stages of breast development known as the Tanner Breast Stages.

The girls were followed longitudinally, which involved multiple regular visits for each girl. Researchers said this method provided a good perspective of what happened to each girl and when it occurred.

Researchers found the respective ages at the onset of breast development varied by race, body mass index (obesity), and geographic location.

Breast development began in white, non-Hispanic girls, at a median age of 9.7 years — earlier than previously reported.

Black girls continue to experience breast development earlier than white girls, at a median age of 8.8 years.

The median age for Hispanic girls in the study was 9.3 years, and 9.7 years for Asian girls.

Body mass index was a stronger predictor of earlier puberty than race or ethnicity.

Although the research team is still working to confirm the exact environmental and physiological factors behind the phenomenon, they conclude the earlier onset of puberty in white girls is likely caused by greater obesity.

Source: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


Young girl performing breast exam photo by shutterstock.

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Childhood Obesity Again Tied to Earlier Puberty in Girls – WebMD

Childhood Obesity Tied to Earlier Puberty in Girls

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) — U.S. girls are developing breasts at a younger age compared to years past, and obesity appears to explain a large share of the shift, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that between 2004 and 2011, American girls typically started developing breasts around the age of 9. And those who were overweight or obese started sooner — usually when they were about 8 years old.

The numbers are concerning, the researchers said — especially since the typical age at breast development is younger now than it was in a similar study from 1997. The main reason: Girls are heavier now than they were in the ’90s.

“This is another manifestation of America’s high body-mass index,” said lead researcher Dr. Frank Biro, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Body-mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on a ratio of height to weight.

The findings, reported online Nov. 4 and in the December print issue of the journal Pediatrics, add to evidence that American children are hitting puberty earlier than in decades past. The rising tide of childhood obesity has been suspected as a major cause, but the new study gives more hard data to support the idea.

Biro said, however, that excess pounds do not seem to be the full explanation. And it’s possible that other factors — such as diet or chemicals in the environment — play a role.

Why should people worry that puberty is coming sooner now than in years past? There is a concern when young kids look older than they are, and are possibly treated that way, Biro said.

Studies have found that girls who mature early are more likely to be influenced by older friends, start having sex sooner and have more problems with low self-esteem and depression. “Just because you’re developing more quickly physically doesn’t mean you’re maturing emotionally or socially,” Biro said.

Plus, early puberty has been tied to long-term health risks. For women, an earlier start to menstruation has been linked to a heightened risk of breast cancer. It’s not clear why, but some researchers suspect that greater lifetime exposure to estrogen might be one reason.

Biro said earlier puberty also has been tied to increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. It’s hard, though, to know whether earlier puberty is to blame since obese kids tend to start puberty earlier, and obese children often become obese adults, he said.

Dr. Patricia Vuguin, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said it’s not known if it’s the earlier development or the obesity itself that causes the increased risk of those conditions.

Prison Planet.com » Plastic Chemical BPA Leads to Obesity in …

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Elizabeth Renter
Prison Planet.com
June 15, 2013

known endocrine-disruptor, Bispehnol-A (BPA) has some nasty effects on the human body. It’s damage to the hormonal system has been linked to thyroid problems, asthma, kidney and heart disease, and even increased risk of some types of cancer. But, BPA is still found in plastic food containers and can-linings in the U.S. A study published in PLoS One and released this week adds even more fuel to the fire,indicating (again) that BPA could be causing obesity in young girls.

The study, which flies in the face of FDA and other conventional reassurances to its safety, says BPA could have detrimental effects on young girls, particularly those on the verge of puberty.

Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland followed girl students between grades 4 and 12 at a school in Shanghai. In all, more than 1,300 children took part in the study.

The researchers measured BPA exposure levels in the urine and divided the girls into groups accordingly. The girls between age 9 and 12 with higher-than average BPA were found to be twice as likely to be overweight or obese. Those who had “extremely high” BPA exposure levels werefive times more likely to be in the top weight percentiles.

“Girls in the midst of puberty may be more sensitive to the impacts of BPA on their energy balance and fat metabolism,” said Dr. De-Kun Li, lead researcher.

Thirty-six percent of those with higher than average BPA were overweight or obese when compared with only 21% of those with lower-than-average BPA levels. Interestingly, the same links weren’t found in girls over the age of 12 or in boys of any age.

“Our study suggests that BPA could be a potential new environmental obesogen, a chemical compound that can disrupt the normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which can lead to obesity. Worldwide exposure to BPA in the human population may be contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic,”  wrote the authors of the study.

But this isn’t the first study linking the plastics-chemical with obesity; one from NYU School of Medicinehad similar findings. They discovered that obese children made up 22% of those with the highest BPA levels where only 10% of those with the lowest BPA levels were obese.

Nations in Europe have banned the use of BPA, and even the FDA recognizes this chemical isn’t completely safe—they banned it in baby bottles and sippy cups back in July 2012. But, they rejected an all-out ban of BPA that same year, saying there isn’t enough evidence that the chemical is that harmful.

BPA can be found in water bottles, food containers, and the linings of canned food. Be cautious, however, because even BPS – used now in “BPA-Free” products has been shown to have similar (or even worse), negative health effects.

This post originally appeared at Natural Society

Related posts:

  1. Study Confirms BPA is Making You Fat, Fueling Obesity
  2. Young girls now reaching puberty at age seven
  3. Mother’s Obesity May Lead to Infertility in the Next Generation
  4. 7 Nasty Effects of BPA – The Plastic Chemical
  5. Popular Plastic Chemical BPA Linked to Wheezing in Children

This article was posted: Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 6:03 am

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High meat diet triggers early puberty in young girls

A recently conducted study has revealed that increased amounts of meat in the daily diet of young girls can result in early periods. According to www.dailymail.co.uk, consumption of 12 portions of meat in a week at the age of seven is linked with early menstruation.

A portion is defined by the amount of meat a growing child eats in one full meal. The research was conducted by the scientists at the University of Brighton in East Sussex. It was carried out on about 3000 young girls. It was found that 49 per cent of those 7 year old girls who included 12 portions of meat in their weekly diet had their periods by the age of 12.

As reported by www.news.bbc.co.uk, early periods may also result in breast cancer due to increased exposure to the higher estrogen levels over the years. The researchers also said that a diet rich in meat helps prepare the body for pregnancy and therefore triggers early puberty.

However, they maintained that ‘These results add to the evidence that it is healthiest to avoid diets containing very high amounts of meat.” Dr. Imogen Rogers went on to suggest that since meat consists of some of the essential nutrients like iron and zinc, parents of young girls should therefore maintain a balance and not go overboard with the meat-rich diet.

celebrities who have been diagnosed with breast cancer include  Kylie MinogueSheryl CrowAnastaciaMelissa Etheridge, and Christina Applegate.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/216854, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/854255

Chemicals found responsible for early puberty in girls

A recent study has found that certain chemicals found in the shower curtains, food cans and toys are the triggering agents for early puberty. According to www.dailymail.co.uk, these chemicals are also responsible for posing increased risk of diabetes and cancer. The study was conducted in the wake of concern over the decreasing puberty age in girls which has seen a fall from ten years and three months to almost nine years of age now at the end of one generation.
As per www.blogs.monografias.com, the study has revealed that three chemicals are to be blamed for a disrupted timing of the age of puberty namely- phytoestrogens, phenols and phthalates. The test was conducted on about 1,151 girls who were examined for the concentration of the chemicals in their bodies. It was found that girls who had higher amounts of these chemicals reached their puberty earlier than others who had moderate amounts of these chemicals.
In addition, findings suggested that girls who were overweight also recorded for early puberty than their healthy counterparts.  While Phthalates are found in cosmetics, Phenols are used in the production of food cans and Phytoestrogens are substances found in bread, soya and nuts. Dr Mary Wolff, one of the researchers concluded ‘While more research is needed, these data are an important first step in continuing to evaluate the impact of these common environmental agents in putting girls at risk.’
Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/967632, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/725159