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“Why are today’s little girls growing up so fast ?”
In a twinkling of an eye, she goes from being nuts about Barnie and Friends, to strutting her stuff as a teenie bopper.
And she has stuff to strut.
Strutting her stuff
Study after study, hints that little girls are becoming big girls, earlier and earlier.
Historically the age of menarche, the first period, is believed to have been around 16-17 years old. Today, officially anyway, it typically happens at 13 years.
Typically …………….. that means, some little girls become little “women”, before their teenage years.
Why is it happening ?
One theory is all the chemicals in the environment . While I am sure exposure to these xenoestrogens is not helping……………..this is probably not the primary reason for this dramatic shift in the age of onset of puberty. The biggest reason that modern little girls are experiencing this speeded up development, is they’re too big.
Early onset of puberty in girls is linked to obesity – this is the finding of a multi-institutional initiative.
Little girls growing up
The team recruited 1239 little girls, between the ages of 6 and 8 years for their study. At the start of the study, and then at regular intervals, the girls breast development was carefully assessed.
The team used the Tanner Breast Stages criteria, which is a system which divides breast development into five distinct stages, to keep tabs on their sexual maturity. When a girl transitions to breast stage 2, she begins puberty.
The age at which the girls in this study, was carefully documented, along with their body mass index, which reflects levels of obesity.
The exact age when girls reached breast stage 2 varied, but a distinct pattern emerged.
The “heavier” the girl, the younger the age at which stage 2 development happened.
The pattern held across all racial profiles.
It makes sense.
Mother Nature figures she’s ready
Ready to make a baby.
Mother Nature knows making a healthy baby is hard work, since making a baby is a huge drain on the mom-to-be’s resources. The bigger you are, the more likely you are to have the resources needed, to build a new human being.
So once a girl reaches a critical size – Mother Nature figures she must be ready.
The trouble is, being big enough physically, is not the same thing as being emotionally ready to handle the job.
And this is the dilemma…..
Stepping on the hormonal rollercoaster
Transitioning into puberty at an early age means you’re jumping on the hormonal rollercoaster, earlier than usual. The hormonal rollercoaster is always a wild ride….. but handling the ride at a young age, can be especially difficult.
Studies suggest these girls have all sorts of problems, especially with their self-esteem.
Self-esteem problems can lead to depression and “bad” behaviour, such as early sexual activity and drug abuse.
And long term, an early start to the hormone rollercoaster, increases the risks of the reproductive cancers i.e. breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Keeping little girls, little
Deep down, every parent wants their little girl to never grow up… that is not going to happen.
But you can slow things down a little….
Help her manage her weight. I know it is easier said than done, fighting childhood obesity is not just about eating less and moving more. To begin with, you need to be one of those UNCOOL mothers who RULE with an iron fist and you need to use all the weapons at your disposal.
Download our free report, to get started CANDY FLOSSING.
Many kids view going to sleep as some kind of punishment – whining and wailing to stay up a little longer. Do you give in to “keep the peace” ?
The cold drink is the BIG difference, between a sandwich with all the toppings eaten at home, and a hamburger eaten at McDonalds. Those liquid calories add up.
There is no disputing this – fat kids do move a lot less than thin kids. But is looks like health gurus are muddling up cause and consequence.