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Foods That Can Cause Early Puberty



What is puberty?

Well, puberty is the change from childhood to adulthood. In people with ovaries, it is marked by “rapid body growth, the appearance of secondary sex features, menarche, and psychic changes.” [1] Menarche is the onset of menstruation, which continues on into late adulthood. According to the study being used in this blog, early puberty is considered to range from 8-10 years of age. What might cause early puberty?


As stated by Kustin et al., “fat content, especially trans fat in junk food will stimulate the production of hormones that play a role in follicular maturation and estrogen formation. [...] Estrogen plays a role in the development of signs of both primary and secondary puberty.” [1] Kustin et al. conducted this study with a group of junior high school girls from rural and urban Jember Regency, located in Indonesia. The study found that 72 out of the 88 test subjects had higher junk food consumption patterns, and 60 out of those 72 girls experienced early puberty. 1 girl out of the 60 who experienced early puberty began at age 8, 48 out of the 60 began at age 9, and 11 out of the 60 began at age 10. [1]


You may be thinking, what’s wrong with having early puberty? According to Kustin et al., “early menarche age is a risk factor for ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and myoma.” [1] So, what foods were these young girls eating that could have contributed to them experiencing early puberty? The following is a list of the different foods that were reported to be eaten by the girls in this study:


● Fried chicken

● Instant noodles

● Chicken nuggets

● French fries

● Ice cream

● Frozen cake

● Fatty meats

● Pizza

● Sardines


More than half of the 60 girls who experienced early puberty were eating food items like these 4-6 times/week, and 45 of the 60 girls were consuming items like this during the day before 6 pm. [1]


Based on this study children should keep their consumption of fatty foods to a minimum. Even though conditions like ovarian cancer and breast cancer are not guaranteed with early puberty, it is still better to be as safe as possible in order to decrease the chances of any complications.



References:

1. Kustin, K., Wahyuningtyias, F., & Munawir, A. (2017). The effects of junk food consumption on incidence of early puberty in adolescent females. Health Notions, 1(4), 408-413.



 


Contributors:

Author: Lauryn Agron

Editor: Kayjah Taylor

Health scientist: Ariqa Everett


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