By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is a phenomenon that doctors don’t fully understand: More girls beginning puberty at a younger age.

Most parents want their children to hold onto their childhood as long as possible, but when a girl starts developing in second and third grades, the changes that come with puberty can be confusing — even devastating psychologically.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that by age seven, 23 percent of black girls, 15 percent of Hispanic girls, 10 percent of white girls and 2 percent of Asian girls had started developing breasts.

On a gorgeous spring day at Como Park, families soaked in the weather, but when we brought up girls going through early puberty there was immediate recognition.

Melissa Miles has twin daughters.

“I find it alarming,” she said. “When I was younger, it seemed like it happened a lot later than it does now.”

Dr. Bradley Miller is a pediatric endocrinologist with the University of Minnesota. He says one reason for the growing trend childhood obesity.

“Fat tissue actually makes more estrogen,” said Miller.

However, slender girls can also develop early. Some researchers point to environmental concerns like BPA that has been widely used in items like plastic bottles and cups growth hormones in foods like milk. Dr. Miller says the research is not conclusive, however.

“Some studies have supported that and other haven’t, so I don’t know if we know a cause,” said Miller.

The early onset of puberty means girls will be of shorter stature and at greater risk for medical diseases, like breast cancer. But the psychological effects can be the most serious.

At St. Paul Academy and Summit School, school counselor Sara Mairs says children need to talk about the changes.

“My biggest concern would be about the girl who would internalize and feel bad about who she is and start to engage in more destructive behaviors,” said Mairs.

Miller says parents should see a doctor if the signs of puberty emerge before age eight.

This is a phenomenon that is unique to girls. While it is possible for boys to go through puberty earlier than their peers, it is far more unusual.

Comments (15)
  1. Joe's Mom says:

    Either Hormones or additives should not have been plural…oops to the grammar police…!!!!!!

  2. Lori says:

    Are they drinking the milk with additives that help cows produce more milk….hmmmm?

  3. missy says:

    And eating the chicken that are fed modified corn feed that makes them grow bigger faster? Have you seen the size of some of the chicken breasts at the grocery store?? Our industrialized food system is catching up with us in some very negative ways. Eat organic and/or free range.

    1. Bert says:

      Then why are women still getting breast implants?

  4. Tracy M says:

    Hormones in the milk. Genetic “messing” around with our crops and food supply. Can someone say”mansanto”

  5. Feed the Sheeple!!! says:

    Enjoy your soft kill operation the globalist elite have prepared for you sheeple!!! BPA, GMO, Floride in the water supply, Chem-trailing geo-engineering, 9 out of 10 nuclear reactors leaking and in need of updating. This is the globalists plan to soft kill the population to reduce population by 80%. THEY WANT YOU DEAD!

    1. Bert says:

      Actually, as crazy as it sounds In afraid you are right.

      1. Feed the Sheeple!!! says:

        Read: United Nations 1996 Bio-Divercity Statement, its all spelled out there. Forced Sterilization, BPA is causing womens Tyroid to fail, increasing estrogen levels in men causing them to be gay, and cancer rates are up 2-3000 percent in the last 50 years.

        1. Death says:

          LOL, yea right!

    2. Rauol Duke says:

      Fluoride!!! Ice cream, Mandrake!!!! Children’s ice cream…

  6. beaumeggie says:

    Nice article – I felt proccessed and added hormone(s) foods have been contributing to this factor for some time. Doesn’t matter if it’s children or adults, it’s not worth it to eat fast food or boxed foods. It makes me feel so good that I make my son’s baby food.

  7. Kevin says:

    I blame Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Bill Clintons Cigar says:

    Say….you might not want to tell the somalians aboug this…..just saying….

  9. David says:

    my buddy’s half-sister makes $83/hr on the internet. She has been out of a job for five months but last month her payment was $18644 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site makecash30………………

  10. Kim says:

    While many people understand the social challenges that young girls sometimes face when they develop early, I think the health impacts of early development, such as increased risk for cancer, is less understood by the broader public. Your story did a great job of discussing the health effects as well as links to chemical exposures and other contributing factors.

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