Early puberty becoming more common

Image Credit: MGN Online

Image Credit: MGN Online

Puberty is hitting girls earlier, with developments like breast buds and pubic hair at 7 or 8 becoming common among American girls.

At an annual conference of The American Academy of Pediatrics recently in Orlando, Florida, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Paul Kaplowitz explained that despite earlier onset, there usually is not “a rapid progression into full puberty.”

That may be reassuring to parents surprised to see budding breasts, pubic and underarm hair and body odor appearing sooner in girls but the jury is still out on what’s causing these developments.

Obesity is one theory. Yet, as CNN points out there are a lot of unsubstantiated ideas and “there’s no consistent body of evidence that hormones in milk or other foods, chemicals in the environment or sexual messages in the media are to blame.”

Despite the earlier onset of obvious puberty signs, there “has been only a slight shift in the age of menarche (the first period) over the past four decades.” In the United States, the average age is 12.5 years, a relatively small drop from 12.75 in 1970.

To read more on what parents should watch for with early puberty, click here to read the full story at CNN.com.

10 comments

    • Shawn

      Chickens do not receive hormones. The hormone would cost more than the chicken is worth. Additionally, it would be nearly impossible, not to mention impractical, to inject thousands of chickens with a hormone. All this is not to mention that it is illegal in the US and many other countries to use hormone-like substances in animal feed.

      • Amanda Roberson

        Their is a growth formula which can be considered a form of hormones that are put in chicken feed that feeds the chickens and that speeds the growth rate up of a chicken. I am sure that what is put in foods now do affect how our kids grow and at the rate they grow. I am also sure that this is not the only reason but that it is a combination of things.

  • Amanda Roberson

    Their is growth formula which is basically a form of hormones that is put in the chicken feed that feeds the chickens that speed up the growth rate of a chicken. This I am sure has alot to do with kids developing faster now. I am sure their are plenty of other reasons as well. It is a combination of things.

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