Childhood Obesity is Strongly Linked With Early Puberty: Study Reveals
By Indrani Bhattacharyya | July 31, 2014 10:47 AM EST
Children these days are attaining puberty five years prior when compared to the children who were born a century back. Reason: Obesity; as it profoundly interrupts with the hormonal changes inside body, a recent report suggests.
Fernanda Garcia-Villanueva, 8, does jumping jacks at a group exercise session in the 10-week Shapedown Program at The Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colorado May 29, 2010.
It was found that the onset of puberty in girls was 14.6 years in 1920, which turned to 10.5 in 2010.
This research which was done at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry got published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Through this study the regulation and role of a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) was found out. SHBG is known to interact with the sex hormones androgen and oestrogen.
SHGB levels are increased in childhood but go down before puberty while allowing puberty to set in.
347 schoolchildren aged five to 15 years participated in the study.
It was observed that a child with more weight at age five tends to have lower levels of SHBG and reaches puberty faster. The finding was more prominent in girls than in boys.
This research came up with the conclusion that hormonal disturbances in association with weight gain and obesity, inflammation, most likely form the biological mechanism which explains the observed relationship between weight gain and declining puberty age.
“According to the report by Medical Xpress; lead author of this study Professor Jonathan Pinkney, Professor of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry said, as a higher proportion of youngsters around the world have become obese, so has the age of puberty dropped. We now know that the relation between these issues is more than coincidental."
Further investigations will be required to shed more light on the significant implications of obesity as far as public health is concerned around the world.
As of now, a little cut down on your child's favourite pizza and burger may help her in the long run.
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