Many Girls Now Begin Puberty at Age 7, 8

August 10th, 2010

See: Child Diabetes Blamed on Food Sweetener:

Scientists have proved for the first time that a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks can damage human metabolism and is fueling the obesity crisis.

Fructose, a sweetener derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.

It has increasingly been used as a substitute for more expensive types of sugar in yoghurts, cakes, salad dressing and cereals. Even some fruit drinks that sound healthy contain fructose.

Experts believe that the sweetener — which is found naturally in small quantities in fruit — could be a factor in the emergence of diabetes among children. This week, a new report is expected to claim that about one in 10 children in England will be obese by 2015.

Previous studies of the potentially adverse impact of fructose have focused on rats, but the first experiment involving humans has now revealed serious health concerns.

Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a strictly controlled diet, including high levels of fructose, produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease. Another group of volunteers on the same diet, but with glucose sugar replacing fructose, did not have these problems.

Fructose bypasses the digestive process that breaks down other forms of sugar. It arrives intact in the liver where it causes a variety of abnormal reactions, including the disruption of mechanisms that instruct the body whether to burn or store fat.

Via: Health Day:

The onset of puberty is continuing to drop among American girls, with many girls as young as 7 and 8 now showing the beginnings of breast development, new research shows.

Rising rates of childhood obesity — long linked to earlier sexual development — may be to blame, experts say.

In the study, more than 1,200 girls ages 6 to 8 from Cincinnati, East Harlem, N.Y. and San Francisco were examined on two occasions between 2004 and 2006 by two different female pediatricians or nurse practitioners who felt for the presence of breast tissue.

“We wanted to be careful not to mistake fatty deposits for actual breast tissue,” explained study author Dr. Frank Biro, director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital.

Among 7-year-olds, about 10.4 percent of white girls, 23.4 percent of black girls and almost 15 percent of Hispanic girls had started developing breasts, the team report in the September issue of Pediatrics. Among 8-year-olds, 18.3 percent of white girls, about 43 percent of black girls and just under 31 percent of Hispanic girls showed evidence of breast development.

The figures suggest a rise in early-onset puberty compared to similar studies conducted earlier.

For 7-year-old white girls, especially, they show a doubling of the rate from as recently as a decade ago, Biro said. One study found that about 5 percent of white 7-year-old girls and 10.5 percent of 8-year-olds were showing breast development.

For black girls, the rate of breast development in that study was 15.4 percent for 7-year-olds and 36.6 percent for 8-year-olds.

The earlier data did not include information on Hispanic girls.

Experts called the findings alarming. In terms of women’s health, early puberty, including younger ages at menarche, or first menstrual cycle, is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer throughout the life span, Biro said.

What’s driving the earlier maturation? Increasing weight at a young age seems to be a main culprit, Biro said. Girls who developed breasts early tended to have a higher body-mass index (BMI) than those who didn’t. Though much is still unknown about how high BMIs kick start puberty, fat cells produce leptin, a hormone involved in the onset of pubertal maturation, Biro noted.

Related: Many Foods Consumed by Poor People Cause Brain Damage

7 Responses to “Many Girls Now Begin Puberty at Age 7, 8”

  1. Dennis Says:

    Reminds me a little of the ploys used by farmers to get their chickens/pigs/salmon etc. up to weight faster. I know the use of fructose is driven by economics/greed/ignorance but am reminded of ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘V’ and similar stories that involve readying humans for consumption.

  2. oelsen Says:

    I wish i could write “aah, at least in middle europe…”.

    But those times are gone, I suspect forever. Since about two years, even salami and stuff that doesn’t need fructose has it as an additional product. Since 20 years, they added sugar, because it made processed food indeed more durable (and it tastes better, i have to admit too), but that was simple sugar, not enriched fructose. I wonder where they get the fructose here in europe, I think they get it from international markets. (?)

  3. soothing hex Says:

    “Girls who developed breasts early tended to have a higher body-mass index (BMI)”

    – or the opposite. Or what seems more likely to me, there’s a common factor to both.

  4. Miraculix Says:

    Oelsen’s sentiment is spot on there.

    Living in one of Germany’s more “backwater” agricultural areas, we’ve watched large fields of corn appear over the last several years here in our neighborhood. Some of it finds it’s way into pig feed, but the bulk of it is the nasty-tasting stuff typically bound for an HFCS production facility in this day and age.

    As enlightened as many Americans consider Europa in regard to food and food culture, the industrial profit & population reduction machine is hard at work here as well.

    The standard ALDI/LIDL discount shopper here has very (very) few good choices. Watching those poor choices moving up the belt to ward the register while standing there alongside my raw milk parmesan and a crate full of organic bananas bound for the dehaydrator is a horror show of additives and ersatz “food” engineering.

    These same people, who don’t hesitate to order a pork schnitzel & frites at some roadside cafe, flinch when we mention that we now produce our own pork and that we refer to them by name both before and after their sunny lives with much attention, ala a housepet.

    Albeit a large, brutally destructive housepet with a desire to overturn your entire yard who’d happily munch the index finger right off your hand if you presented it inadvertently. Still, they do love attention & affection, respond well to communication, are highly social.

    To my mind, the most insidious aspect of the whole “developed world” is the way food logic has been twisted around the same totem of “better living through chemistry” behind so much of what ails we “modern” humans.

    And the bulk of the population hoovers the sludge up willingly, even here. Slurps it all down with relish. Though I disagree strongly with Oelsen’s conclusion that the modern sugar and MSG-laden crap tastes better.

    On the contrary, your tongue is being fooled in to sensing the pleasure via the inclusion of specific chemicals that mimic the real stuff. And once you’re off the refined sugars wagon, it’s amazing how truly sweet good quality saturated fats taste in the raw cream & coconut oil, not to mention a good, spicy artisanal saucisson or piece of cheese.

  5. tochigi Says:

    i’m not sure if the allusion by Miraculix was intentional or not, but here goes with my interpretation:

    “Please read Against the Grain by Richard Manning”

  6. oelsen Says:

    Miraculix: I didn’t want to write all stuff tastes better. Sometimes, there is the possibility that it can be made better (for e.g. when you want to caramelize it for more flavour, like in saucages). But not for everything. And i am completely aware of the deception the ersatz food industry (hehe, i like the term even in english).

    The corn appearing has to do with EU-Subventionen all over middle europe. Here in the rhine valley, there are much better options, but corn is heavily subsidized and so the farmers irrigate with groundwater. The water table sunk during the last two decades and some spots are becoming deserted, despite getting >600mm/a precipitation.

  7. Miraculix Says:

    @ Oelsen…

    Thanks for the background on the corn scenario from not terribly far from where I sit now. I’m hip to the EU’s role in shifting the aggro-kultur balance. Locally, regulation of dairy is also pricing smaller producers right out of business as the per liter price sinks ever lower.

    Of course, the industrial food system then hoovers it all up, cooks the life out of it, what ends up in the stores only a fraction of what it once was. The only truly reliable source of healthy raw milk: well-tended cows on good pasture in the neighborhood.

    Perhaps the wisdom inherent in “growin’ your own” isn’t just for the hydroponic set any more… =)

    Understanding soil, cycles, fertilization & mineralization, quality control, preparation — by traditional non-industrial methods — as well as the basics of organic livestock management aids in cultivating a broader, clearer view of how the world operated outside the mediated holograms of “modern” civilization for so long.

    Quality control is perhaps the most difficult job of all, as you slowly become what the mainstream media is now trying to brand as “orthorexic”. All the evil sludge identified, eliminated — and the old-school goodness cranked up to 11.

    And Oelsen, have you also noticed the “pudge factor” steadily appearing in the younger generations?

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