A large number of girls are reaching puberty at the age of 9, instead of 11 years, a new research reports. The research cites a Danish study, which examined 1000 girls, and showed that breast development started on average at age 9 years and 10 months, which is a full year earlier than it did in a similar group studied 15 years earlier. The international standard for normal puberty in white girls was set in the 1960s at the age of 12 when periods begin and at about 14 for boys when their voices break and their growth surges.
Researchers are worried that young girls are not well equipped to cope with sexual development at such an early stage.
Is early puberty a health issue?
Researchers say that if girls mature early, they run into teenage problems at an early age and are more prone to get diseases later on. Early puberty can put girls at greater long-term risk of breast cancer.
What are the major factors responsible for early puberty?
There can be various factors that affect these children such as:
- Junk Foods and frequency of diet– Researchers observed that children are eating more than previous generations and growing bigger and in many cases becoming obese. (Researchers at Brighton University found that...
49% of girls who ate meat 12 times a week at the age of 7 had reached puberty by the age of 12 1/2, compared with 35% of those who ate meat four times a week or less)
- Environmental chemicals- Artificially produced chemicals notably bisphenol A, a plastic found in the lining of tin cans and babies feeding bottles has been blamed for interfering with sexual development.
The research was originally conducted in Denmark. Experts say the trend applies to Britain and other parts of Europe. Data from America also point to the earlier onset of puberty, according to a study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
Though it is difficult to control the age of puberty, but focusing on some of the factors responsible for early puberty can help prevent some health issues. Preventing obesity and eating healthy food have always been considered a secret of good health.