My Strollerderby colleague, psychotherapist and science writer Heather Turgeon recently wrote an excellent story about why 7- and 8-year-old girls are entering puberty.
As Turgeon points out, there have recently been a slew of studies detailing possible reasons for early onset puberty — the obesity epidemic seems largely to blame.
But various studies have suggested that other factors include: absent fathers, divorce, a high-meat diet, family stress, and exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates.
Turgeon concludes that “the most likely culprit of precocious puberty is the obesity epidemic.” She cites the fact that overweight girls are 50 percent more likely to enter puberty early. Obese girls have an 80 percent chance of developing breasts before they turn nine.
So what can parents do to prevent early puberty?
In a post on Girlology (from the authors of Girlology: There’s Something New About You), Melisa writes that there are many things we can do to help our daughters. Here are just 5 of Melisa’s suggestions:
1. Avoid cosmetic products with chemicals in them.
2. Battle obesity through healthy eating and exercise.
3. Serve hormone-free, antibiotic free food whenever possible.
4. Limit exposure to media – especially highly sexualized content.
5. Help your daughter understand puberty (whenever it begins) and create an open line of communication.
Are you concerned about early puberty in girls?