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5 Bumps

Earlier puberty rates for American girls, thoughts?

Girls in the U.S. may be continuing to hit puberty at earlier ages, according to new research.

The findings suggest earlier development than what was reported in a 1997 study and show a worrying pattern, say the study's authors, led by Dr. Frank Biro of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Girls who hit puberty earlier are more likely to engage in risky behavior, Biro's team notes, and might be at a higher risk for breast cancer, than their peers who develop later.

"This could represent a real trend," Dr. Joyce Lee, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Michigan who was not involved with the new research, told Reuters Health.

Doctors are unsure of what could be causing girls to develop at a younger age, but rising obesity rates may be to blame, they say.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:10 PM on Aug. 9, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (33)
  • Obesity, synthetic food additives, hormone injections in meat. Scary as crap. Thank goodness my 9yr old isn't in that group.

    Answer by urkiddingright at 2:22 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Hormone laden foods (dairy, meat)

     Increased levels of body fat? In my day, the heavier, bigger girls tended to be the ones who hit puberty first-


    Answer by Sisteract at 1:12 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • 90lbs is the bodies trigger for starting your period. Because in your bodies "mind" that is enough weight to carry a baby. I've read a bunch of studies on this. Environment, food, weight, and family history are what they think that plays a big factor in starting puberty young. 


    Answer by elly25 at 1:24 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • I had read about this. Many studies have linked added hormones to food (beef, milk) to the early onset. There have also been studies that have demonstrated a weight connection. For some reason, I am remembering 105 pounds to be the trigger. This may be the wrong number and only my wishful thinking for a younger me! :) My daughter started menstruating at age 11 and she was at a higher BMI than I was at her age.  I was almost in high school when this began.  Some of it is genetic--my side of the family is tall and on the thinner side whereas her father's family tends to be shorter and more stocky. It does make one more aware of the things that go into the food we feed our families.


    Answer by Youngwifey2 at 1:17 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • I read this this morning... I thought of posting it here, but you beat me to it...

    Honestly though, I don't see a huge age change. I got my period at 9. That was almost 20 years ago. My mother started hers at 10, that was almost 40 years ago... Their study is saying around 7, which really isn't that much earlier. And there are still a great many who aren't starting til later than the norm... So, I dunno... I guess it's just one more reason to live, and teach your kids to live, a healthy and natural life...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:23 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • I think it is the fat (obese kids)and the hormones given beef and dairy cattle but also genetics. In my family background,we all got our periods at age 14 and older. My mom was 16. We are all slim and we don't eat much, certainly not a lot of beef or pork. My daughters were 14. Grandaughters almost 13 and just beginning to show teeny breasts. LOL. The exception to the family trend was my aunt who was 10 when she got her period and had good sized boobs. When she was 50, she had breast cancer. She ate a lot of beef....basically overate all her life. I see some connections there.

    Answer by gertie41 at 2:39 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • I have noticed this when I'm walking around town. I think obesity is absolutely to blame - less active girls are more likely to menstrate sooner.

    Answer by Wheepingchree at 1:12 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • It doesn't surprise me. My daughter is almost 9 and starting to go through it, she hasn't got her period yet.

    Answer by PoisonousBlonde at 1:19 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Opps almost 10 lol, she's already 9.

    Answer by PoisonousBlonde at 1:26 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • "Mine too, we brought her some training bras and I had the perios talk because Im afraid she may be getting it soon..I got mine at 13..i hope hers waits at LEASt that long"

    I bought her a training bra too & have been having the period talk. She keeps asking so many questions about it. I guess that is good. She says the training bra helps them feel better because just her shirt brushing over them can hurt & feel uncomfy. She does not wear it every day though, she still feels silly. I started my period at 10, but did not get it again until i was 12. I heard someone say that the period comes about 2 years after the first sign of breast developement. Not sure how acurate that is. It would be accurate for me was about 2 years after my boobs started growing that i got my period.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 1:36 PM on Aug. 9, 2010