Extremely early puberty…Would you believe 6 years old?


A front page article on this topic appeared in the USA Today on April 11, 2011. The complete headline reads:

PUBERTY TOO SOON…Girls are maturing faster than ever, and doctors are not sure why. By Liz Szabo — USA Today

J. Morris Hicks, writer, speaker, blogger and health coach

Since I have been reading about this phenomenon for years, I knew right away that there were indeed “some doctors” who are sure why — and they have been sure for a long time. I actually reached out to two of them yesterday and this was their response. John McDougall, M.D., said “Interesting – I have been writing about this since the early 80s. I know what the cause is.”

Also Dr. Joel Furhman weighed in on this topic…referring me to this quote from his book, Disease-Proof Your Child:

Early puberty is obviously not due to any one factor, but rather to the combined effect of the modern diet of processed foods, cheese, daily animal products and the lack of fresh produce….Early puberty is strongly associated with breast cancer and the occurrence of breast cancer is three times higher in women who started puberty before age twelve.

Since the medical doctors consulted for the article were not sure of the cause, the author goes on to  cite many possible causes including everything from plastic bottles and obesity to genetics and environmental toxins…..but not a single mention of the fact that we just might be eating the totally wrong diet for our species.

Actually, to be fair, in a related article in the Life section of the same issue, it was suggested that it might be a good idea to eat less meat & dairy and more fresh produce. Good advice to be sure, but buried within a long list of recommendations and following a lead article declaring that doctors were not sure of the cause. It’s truly a sad situation — quoting directly from the article:

They first noticed something different when Laila was 3, and she began to produce the sort of body odor normally associated with adults. Three years later, she grew pubic hair. By age 7, Laila was developing breasts.Without medical treatment, doctors warned, Laila could begin menstruating by age 8 — an age when many kids are still trying to master a two-wheeler. Laila’s parents, from the Los Angeles area, asked USA TODAY not to publish their last name to protect their daughter’s privacy.

Doctors say Laila’s story is increasingly familiar at a time when girls are maturing faster than ever and, for reasons doctors don’t completely understand, hitting puberty younger than any generation in history.

About 15% of American girls now begin puberty by age 7, according to a study of 1,239 girls published last year in Pediatrics. One in 10 white girls begin developing breasts by that age — twice the rate seen in a 1997 study. Among black girls, such as Laila, 23% hit puberty by age 7.

“Over the last 30 years, we’ve shortened the childhood of girls by about a year and a half,” says Sandra Steingraber, author of a 2007 report on early puberty for the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group. “That’s not good.”

All of the above is just another sad example of how innocent people are suffering because their vast “system” of health care is failing them. It is not providing clear-cut information that enables people to take charge of their own health and avoid the hazards of eating the wrong diet for our species.

Dr. John McDougall says, "Interesting - I have been writing about this since the early 80s. I know what the cause is." Check out his work at drmcougall.com

The bottom line is that this. Our “system” is failing us miserably, yet people within the system are well-intentioned and just doing what they have been taught. Too big and too complex to change from the top down, the only answer to fixing our “system” is a grassroots movement by people such as ourselves who begin by taking charge of our own health.

To do that, we simply learn the truth about nutrition, make better choices in what we eat, enjoy the plethora of benefits of vibrant health — then spread the word to everyone you care about.

Clearly, there is something terribly wrong when you have girls hitting puberty at six years old. The good news here is that things are beginning to change — with people like Bill Clinton and Oprah now moving back towards the natural diet for our species, millions more will be following. 

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, Board of Directors…

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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One Response to Extremely early puberty…Would you believe 6 years old?

  1. rob says:

    Whether people want to believe it or not late puberty = old aging body, and the major organs like skin lungs and heart, etc. are proven to be at their peak from 12-14 for most boys! And girls?? I won’t even go there! They are entering now puberty and getting old manly looking faces by 12 younger and younger! If you want proof that puberty = aging and ugly just look at boys 11-14 and you will notice that they have perfect smooth glowing skin and hair. But then by 17-18 a lot of them have have fine lines and wrinkles around eyes, deep smile marks etc. dull rough skin and their hair and skin no longer glows! And when they get cuts and scrapes at 18+ the cells have aged and the healing process takes forever often leaving scars verses when boys get scrapes before late puberty those wounds likely heal without leaving scars. Thus if I could be any age I’d want to be 14 and at my peak forever!!

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