Clear, present danger

JSOnline

A new study signals an earlier onset of puberty, but what it says about obesity is of more immediate significance.

Aug. 16, 2010 

A recent study that says girls are more likely to start developing breasts as early as age 7 or 8 has a societal implication that goes beyond the scientific debate of whether puberty is actually starting earlier.

Researchers of this study published in the journal Pediatrics are indicating that more body fat is a likely cause. If true, it’s another way of saying that obesity is far too rampant and occurring at ages in which habits become too ingrained.

Certainly, it also would not be good if earlier menstruation – now at about 12 or 13 – also is documented eventually. And girls who appear more mature than their years will likely exacerbate an already fearful trend of predatory older males preying on girls. But it’s the obesity issue that must be the immediate concern.

The community must recognize obesity as a clear and present danger to the community’s public health, with associated illnesses becoming rampant. And that danger can’t be allowed to grow.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.