Little Women, Big Risks

“Little women” — physically speaking — are increasingly attending our primary schools. Early puberty among girls is on the rise, with as many as 15% of girls in the U.S. starting puberty by age seven. For African Americans, the rate is even higher at nearly 25%. Now we learn from a new Harvard School of Public Health study that one of the culprits of this frightening trend is sugary beverages.

We have known that excess weight is one cause of early puberty and that sweetened drinks contribute significantly to weight gain in children. But this new research shows that even for girls who are not overweight, drinking beverages with added sugar can lead to earlier menstruation. The Harvard researchers found that girls consuming 1.5 servings of sugary drinks daily had their first period nearly three months earlier than girls who drank those amounts twice a week or less. While entering puberty just a few months earlier may not seem like a big deal, it is when viewed in the context of being one of a number of factors that are pushing the age of puberty down further into childhood. The average age of onset —> Read More Here


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