New Study Reveals that Obesity Leads to Early Puberty in Girls

obesity in youth

Obesity has long been associated with chronic and acute adult conditions such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and joint pain. Many adults are cautioned to avoid living sedentary lives that are void with exercise. In addition, eating healthy foods and minimizing high fat and processed foods are thought to help offset the long term effects of obesity. For years, we have known about obesity’s impact on adults, but now a new study is revealing that obesity has a surprising impact on young girls.

The study reveals that young girls are entering puberty at a much earlier rate than young girls from just a few generations ago. The onset of a developing body, underarm hair and a menses are a few of the earmarks of puberty. As girls began to enter into puberty as young as 8 and 9 years old, researchers began to question why?

According to NBC News, “The study of more than 1,200 girls found that the median age of breast development ranged from 8.8 to 9.7 years, depending on race, with heavier girls developing b*****s sooner than their thinner counterparts. Girls with earlier maturation are at risk for lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression,”

The study’s authors are quoted in  the journal of Pediatrics as stating: ”They are more likely to be influenced by older peers and more deviant peers, and initiate intercourse, substance use and other norm-breaking behaviors at younger ages.”

For young girls who do develop earlier, they are often mistaken for being older than they actually are which can lead to confusion, angst and even self-loathing.

Although the study asserts that more research needs to be done, it does bring to light the connection between weight and a young girl’s reproductive health. For parents who may be concerned, the study reinforces the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is also important that parents talk to their young daughters about their growing bodies so that they do not associate their body’s changes with shame and disgust.

6 Responses to New Study Reveals that Obesity Leads to Early Puberty in Girls

  1. How is this information “NEW” when this has been common knowledge for the past 20 years?

  2. Lee Davis thank you! I have been saying this all along. Our food today is so messed up with growth hormones, antibiotics, and no telling what is in our meat that they are not telling us about. Since I was raised on a farm that had cows, pigs, a garden with all types of veggies, a fruit orchard, I grew up knowing what food should taste like. The meat is horrible tasting! Is anyone regulating how much of this junk is going into the feed that is being fed to our cows, chickens and hogs? Why do we need this mess in our food? A chicken breast today looks like a size DD cup when it used to look like an A cup! The pork chops is nothing but fat where the pigs are being over fed, it is just disgusting!

  3. Its the chemicals used to process food. A study in the UK years ago revealed similar results for both girls and boys; starting puberty as early as 8 and 9 years old. That is why it is so important that parents cook healthy foods, i.e. fresh vegatables vs. canned and packaged goods. Quicker is not better.

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