Article: Five-Year-Olds With Breasts? Precocious Puberty Is Worsening and Reasons Are Clear | OpEdNews

No scientists dispute that precocious or early-onset puberty is on the rise but reasons are not clear. Is it bad diets and lack of exercise that cause growing obesity? Is it soft drinks themselves, even when not linked to obesity? Is it the common chemicals known as endocrine disrupters that exert estrogen-like effects (and also cause obesity)? Is it the many legal, unlabeled hormones used in the U.S. to fatten livestock? Some researchers even believe precocious puberty could be triggered by sociological factors like having no father in the home or even stress.

Puberty in girls is defined by three things: breast development (thelarche), appearance of pubic hair (pubarche) and the onset of menstrual periods (menarche), the latter coming last. In the 1700s, girls did not menstruate until age 17 or 18, and 100 years ago the average age when a girl got her first period was 16-17.

The reason why weight matters is because when the body senses it has extra calories, enough to sustain a pregnancy, the fat tissues release a signal into the bloodstream,” reports KATU 2 News. “That signal then travels to the brain, telling it that sexual development is a ‘go.’ Doctors see the opposite happen in girls who suffer from anorexia. When the body is starved of calories, the first thing it does is shut down sex hormones.”

Article: Five-Year-Olds With Breasts? Precocious Puberty Is Worsening and Reasons Are Clear | OpEdNews