Flashback to 1984. All the girls in middle school were getting their periods one by one. The average age was around 12-14 years old, as is what is a natural biological age. In recent years however girls and boys are starting puberty earlier and earlier, as early as 7 years old
Yes, SEVEN! What has changed?
What is it about the bodies of our kids, specifically girls, that is throwing them into puberty at an age where they are nowhere near old enough to handle the emotional and psychological changes that occur when puberty hits? In a word: hormones, hormones (estrogen) caused by obesity in children and/or growth hormones that laden the meat they eat and their environment.
We’ve talked before about obesogens and how the pesticides and genetically modified foods we are consuming are wreaking havoc with both our bodies and those of our children. The obesogens are causing childrens bodies to be pre-disposed to obesity which not only can cause anything from cardiovascular disease to attention-deficit disorder, it also causes their bodies to start the process of puberty, much earlier than what would occur naturally had they not been exposed.
Obesity causes a girl’s body to produce estrogen which, in turn, throws her into puberty, whether it is naturally on the time-table that is typical of the human body or by environmental factors that cause the body’s hormone levels to change unnaturally.
Consider this hypothetical situation: A little girl is born. She drinks formula but that formula is non-organic, probably filled with genetically modified (GM) soy products. She starts to eat solid foods but the little girl is eating fruit laden with pesticides, sleeping in pajamas that have been treated with flame retardants, playing on a chemical-filled carpet.
Then, as a toddler, she is eating chicken nuggets from the frozen food aisle that have been made from chicken pumped full of growth hormones with said chicken eating corn that has been grown at the GMO farm. Her exposure is everywhere and it is from birth throughout her life. The little girl’s parents feed her what they consider healthy foods but notice she is still overweight. Sadly, because the parents weren’t diligent about keeping out pesticides, GM foods, sulfates in soaps (the list could go on and on) the obesogens have taken root in the little girl’s body and will have life-long effects.
Because she is overweight her body is producing estrogen at higher levels, and much sooner than her body would have normally, so pubic hair starts to develop, her breasts start to grow and her menstrual cycle begins, all at the age of 8.
Sadly, this child could suffer from a whole host of problems due to all of this, from low self-esteem, to early sexual activity, even to cancer because the longer the body is exposed to estrogen, the higher the chances of developing breast cancer. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, among Caucasian girls today, 1 in 7 starts to develop breasts or pubic hair before she is 8 years old.” Even more alarming, he states that among African American children it is one out of two.
In an article reported on by Rodale, researchers conducted a study on girls ages 6-8 from East Harlem, New York; Cincinnati; and the San Francisco Bay area and found that the trend shows girls are entering puberty at a much higher rate than they did even twenty years ago. The study did not find the smoking gun reason why it was happening but they have found that it is definitely linked to a higher Body Mass Index (BMI), which then leads us back to what we already know.
Keeping our kids protected from being thrown into early development starts with us, even before they are in the womb. We have to take care of our own bodies and do what we can to prevent passing on obesogens to our children. We can successfully do so by eating organic, limiting our exposure to chemicals by using all-natural soaps, lotions and cosmetics and by using all-natural cleaning agents. Additionally we can protect ourselves and our family by not consuming meat that has been fed GM feed and treated with growth hormones. We can stop the cycle but it begins with US.