Little girls reach puberty at ten years old
Girls are now reaching puberty before they’re 10 years old, a new study has indicated. The average age for breast development to begin is now 9 years and 10 months, which is nearly a year earlier than a study in 1991 indicated.
“We were very surprised that there had been such a change,” Anders Juul, head of the Department of Growth and Reproduction at the University hospital in Copenhagen, a world leader in the study of hormones and growth said.
“If girls mature early, they run into teenage problems at an early age and they’re more prone to diseases later on. We should be worried about this regardless of what we think the underlying reasons might be. It’s a clear sign that something is affecting our children, whether it’s junk food, environmental chemicals or lack of physical activity.”
The research was carried out in Denmark in 2006. But it’s thought the trend also applies to the UK.
Earlier puberty can mean longer exposure to oestrogen, which is a factor in breast cancer.
Juul’s research team are now testing to see if a link can be drawn between early sexual maturity and bisphenol A.
The chemical – blamed for interfering with sexual development – is found in the lining of tin cans and babies’ feeding bottles.