By Natural Advocate | July 22, 2008 - 9:01 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

The onset of female maturation, called puberty, is occurring in American girls at younger ages than it ever used to.  There are three phases of puberty.  It starts with breast budding then pubic hair growth and then menstruation begins.
For reasons not yet medically explained, girls are beginning breast development at ages as young as 8 years old.  Some theories offered by pediatricians and endocrinologists suspect environmental chemicals play a role.  However, the only concrete scientific data to date relates the early breast development to the obesity epidemic.
There is an ever increasing gap between the phase of breast development and the onset of menstruation.  The average time between breast buds and menstruation has grown to almost 3 years.  There is no certainty as to why this gap has grown.  The onset of menstruation has become at a younger age continuously over the last few decades.  The younger age for starting menstruation is explained by many researchers a result of us eating better and being healthier. 
The average age for first menstruation has declined by one month per decade for the last 30 years.  The average age for this occurrence is 12.5 for Caucasian females, 12.06 for black females and 12.09 for Latino females.
Early menstruation has been linked as a risk factor for developing breast cancer.  No one is certain how early breast development will effect the health of American girls in the future.  The Breast Cancer Fund has financed a report in August of 2007 entitled ” The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls” to try to determine how environmental factors play a part in this disease.
Some theories posed by evnironmental activists point to hormones in food, pesticides and pthalates in plastics as the reasons for the early puberty.  Theories cited by social scientists look in a different direction.  They look to lifestyles, such as fatherless households and excessive stimulating effects of sexually explicit television shows.
The subject is worth questioning and investigating to determine if early puberty will have a negative effect on the future health of the now young female U.S. population.

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