Early Onset of Periods Linked to Obesity in Girls?


Gynos say there are three phases to puberty. First is the development of formal thinking and processing as a more adult person, then the stages of adolescence that contribute to psychosocial development, and finally biologic processes: the menarche, thelarche, andrenarche, gonadarche and pubarche, periods, breasts, the adrenal gland male hormones, and pubic hair, accompanied by the final physical development of our body's organs, our size and our strength. 

The height shoots up at a fast pace, and not quite 20%, closer to 18%, of one's eventual height growth occurs during this time. The first part of puberty is accompanied by reductions in body fat percent, as bones and muscles take precedent, and after 16, girls tend to gain because of gain in fat.

That body fat percent can trigger an earlier process for many of the physical events, such as the first period. Of course it goes without saying that the brain maturation and psychosocial development is not going to be affected by one's weight. Overweight or obese girls get their first period months earlier than their normal-weight peers, according to a new Danish study. And the normal sequence of events that should proceed at about 2.5 to 3 years from start to finish can not only proceed earlier in obese girls, but it can proceed faster, so that the current epidemic of obesity - .currently at least 1 in 6 teens - is making this more and more commonplace. In a Medscape report, they have said that early-onset menstruation is linked to later health problems such as breast cancer, said Dr. Sarah Keim, a researcher at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, who wasn't involved in the new study.

Of course, long-term heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and all the known risks of obesity are also reported on the rise. Also in that report, they point out that girls who start menstruating earlier are also more likely to have sex before most of their peers do, which increases the risk of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. These girls are now on average getting their periods at about 12, or earlier. Whether it's genetics or the food on the dinner table the whole family enjoys, the researchers also found that a girl's mother's weight is related to whether that girl is overweight, dating back to your pregnancy days. For every point her mother's prepregnancy BMI went up, the girl's period came about a week earlier, according to the new study, which appeared online March 10th in Fertility and Sterility.

So for those who hate the word and concept of dieting, you still have "your diet together," and your health habits are a big effect on your girls' habits. So go "halvies" now and then on sandwiches and portions, it's fun, it's together and it's healthy.


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