Children seem to be attaining puberty much earlier than they did a generation ago, though health officials are unable to pinpoint or certain reason for this phenomenon.
There have been many assumptions and theories that have linked the onset of puberty to factors like increasing obesity amongst children or the hormones that are supposedly used in the poultry and meat business. Recent research has indicated that high levels of meat and protein diet could be a reason for the early onset of puberty.
The average age of puberty at the start of the twentieth century was 14 in ladies and now one century later the average has dropped to 12.5 years. The 18 month decline in a century works out to approximately a month for every 5 years and this evolution is noteworthy, claim the researchers.
A book by Sherrill Sellman titled The Problem of Precocious Puberty there is something that is more upsetting. It says that one out of every six girls in the United States, Britain and Australia aged eight is racing towards puberty. Also similar patterns of puberty have been seen all over the world with diverse climatic conditions like Asia, Caribbean and Europe.
Dr. Marisa Weiss, of Lankenau Hospital in Pennsylvania, the founder of the advocacy group Breastcancer.org, investigated the causes of breast cancer and found that fat generates an extra hormone in our body and can bring on puberty earlier. This is the same fat which generates extra cell activity and further extra unusual cell activity which is breast cancer.
Cattle farmers in United States and Canada use hormones to increase the weight of cattle before slaughtering them. Milk producers too use these hormones. Even the FDA allows the use of hormonal agents for raising cattle like progesterone, testosterone, oestradiol and the synthetic anabolic steroids trenbolene and Zeranol.
Carlos Sonnenschein of the Tufts University School of Medicine at Boston believes that this hormonal residue in the beef could be a likely cause of the early onset of puberty among girls in the last few decades.
A new study carried in the University of Bristol with a sample size of 3,000 girls, has analyzed the dietary intake of children aged between three and seven and the onset of puberty in them. It emerged that girls who had a higher intake of protein and meat aged between three and seven had a higher chance of attaining puberty before they were 12. The study stipulated 12 or more servings of meat per week as a rich intake.