Ok. Red flag! Red flag! Red flag!
It appears that 14% of all 2nd graders in Ohio are pubescent. (Note: I didn’t say, “pre-pubescent”.) Friends, that’s seven and eight-year-olds.
There are a couple of issues at play within this: childhood obesity and environmental factors.
Apparently, children who are obese have increased hormone levels. (Fat increases estrogen production.) Because they’re heavier than children EVER have been, they are experiencing higher exposure to estrogen EARLIER.
Ok, then there’s the whole environmental issue.
Next, researchers “think” that there are environmental factors that “might be” complicatedly intertwined within this discussion. We’re all terrified about them: weirdo chemicals in products, hormones in milk, you name it — they’re bound to have an effect. However, there aren’t any direct studies proving that hormones are causing this super-fast onset of puberty.
[insert HUGE eye roll]
Allegedly, there just hasn’t been enough time to confirm the potential correlation of hormones/environmental factors and puberty. (Awesome. Love knowing our little ones are guinea pigs.)
Anywho – physically, this is an issue. Not only is there an indication that early puberty points to increased chance for breast cancer, but a seven-year-old, or an eight-year-old for that matter – is in NO way prepared or able to emotionally handle these changes.
And incredibly scary.
So what’s the remedy?
That’s the scary part. I suppose fostering a healthy food environment that encourages a lot of physical activity is a kosher place to start. But, how do you avoid all of those external/environmental factors? I’m not sure you can.