• Girls Enter Puberty Early

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    Many girls in the U.S. may be entering puberty at younger ages now than in previous decades, and obesity appears to be the major factor contributing to this shift, a new study finds.The researchers looked at more than 1,200 girls ages 6 to 8 in the San Francisco area, the Cincinnati area and New York City, and examined them multiple times between 2004 and 2011. Entering puberty was defined as the age at which a girl's breasts started to develop.

    A new longitudinal study found that girls are developing breasts at an increasingly younger age, which is part of a disturbing trend in the sexual development of our children. American girls (and boys) are hitting puberty earlier than ever before, and upward trends in childhood obesity seem to be playing a major role.

    You may be shocked by the latest childhood obesity statistics. As reported by Huffington Post:

    • 17 percent of children and adolescents are now obese
    • Childhood obesity has nearly tripled since 1980
    • Obesity among kids ages two to five has doubled over the past 30 years, and one in five kids is now overweight by age six
    • More than half of obese children were overweight by their second birthday
    • The food industry spends more than $1.8 billion marketing to kids each year—and what they're selling is primarily processed food and junk foods

    Obesity May Be More Significant for Early Puberty Than Previously Thought

    Maturing at a younger …

    There aren't likely to be any long-term physical effects from starting puberty early except one: While initially your child may be taller than her peers, an early growth spurt could leave her shorter than average as an adult. At this point, the general understanding is that much more research needs to be done before we can draw any new conclusions about the timing of puberty. Meanwhile, follow the safest guideline: Regardless of when your daughter shows signs of puberty, take her in for a checkup.

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