Puberty Before Age 10 – A New ‘Normal’?

Not much help from this New York Times article

4 or my 5 grandchildren hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Nothing is more important than the children.

Over 5,000 words — not a single mention of diet as a possible cause. About all I could garner from this lengthy article was that “maybe early puberty is the new normal and we just need to learn to live with it.” Well, it is not the new normal, but it apparently is the natural or normal result of eating the wrong food for a few generations.

This article reinforces the central problem throughout  our entire “system” of medicine, academia, government, science, industry and media. The problem is a lack of knowledge, AND…

…When it comes to the children, I have no patience.

Want to learn the truth about nutrition? This is a good place to start.

Nor did Mrs. Colin Campbell when she insisted that her husband write his best-selling “China Studyfor the children of the world. But who knew that this book would end up changing the world? Certainly not the publisher back in 2004 just before the book was published in January of 2005.

With a first printing of only 3,000 copies, the publisher (BenBella Books) was hoping to make a meager profit on a risky piece of work that had been turned down by the more prominent publishing houses. It turns out those publishers were all looking for some catchy diet-type book whereby there would be a different recommended diet (and recipes) for all of the different diseases. What they didn’t recognize was that there is a huge market for integrity.

People everywhere crave integrity. And that’s exactly what the public has loved about The China Study. Fortunately, Glenn Yeffeth at BenBella was able to see the genius in Colin’s work and agreed to back the project. Now—over seven years after that first printing of only 3,000 copies—that great book is selling more than that every week and has been a consistent best-seller as it nears the one million mark.

So, what about early puberty in very young children?

Where is the integrity with regards to this problem? Why doesn’t our scientific and medical community tell us what is happening? I blogged on this topic over a year ago on 4-13-11. Extremely early puberty…Would you believe 6 years old? That particular blog was inspired by the following headline:

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

The headline includes this phrase: “doctors are not sure why.” That should be that “some doctors are not sure why.” My blog featured Dr. John McDougall who replied to my request for his input put it this way: “Interesting – I have been writing about this since the early 80s—and I know what the cause is.”

We’re eating the wrong food!

Another doctor friend of mine—Dr. Joel Fuhrman agrees, as you can see from this excerpt 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.

As in my blog yesterday about cancer, many doctors do know why our kids are maturing much earlier than ever. But, just as with cancer, they didn’t learn that information in medical school. Now we have a HUGE article in the 3-30-12 Magazine section of the New York Times—about early puberty:

So why are so many girls with no medical disorder growing breasts early? Doctors don’t know exactly why, but they have identified several contributing factors.

Girls who are overweight are more likely to enter puberty early than thinner girls, and the ties between obesity and puberty start at a very young age….Researchers now believe that fat tissue, not poundage, sets off a feedback loop that can cause a body to mature. As Robert Lustig, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco’s Benioff Children’s Hospital, explains, fatter girls have higher levels of the hormone leptin, which can lead to early puberty, which leads to higher estrogen levels, which leads to greater insulin resistance, causing girls to have yet more fat tissue, more leptin and more estrogen, the cycle feeding on itself, until their bodies physically mature.

Adding to the anxiety is the fact that we know so little about how early puberty works. A few researchers, including Robert Lustig, of Benioff Children’s Hospital, are beginning to wonder if many of those girls with early breast growth are in puberty at all.

So what are families of early bloomers to do? Doctors urge parents to focus on their daughters’ emotional and physical health rather than on stopping or slowing development. In this way, the concept of a new normal is not just a brushoff but an encouragement to support a girl who is vulnerable.

Dr. John McDougall does know the cause of early puberty.

No mention of diet in the HUGE article. To me, articles like these simply add to the confusion. So it appears from the article that obesity is a problem; so what is the cause of obesity? Incredibly, the entire article made no mention of the fact that our rich Western diet might be driving this problem of extremely early puberty. Here’s the article if you’d like to see for yourself.

Puberty Before Age 10 – A New ‘Normal’? –

Want to prevent early puberty, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke in the future generations of your family? Well the process begins with you. Take charge of your health and teach your children how to take charge of theirs. The solution can be summed up in two words: Whole Plants.

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

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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 Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

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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1 Response to Puberty Before Age 10 – A New ‘Normal’?

  1. Lester Sukenik says:

    Just how can those of us that understand the problem make a difference?? I worry about my daughter and my grand daughter but no one will listen to my logic! Years of reading daily and understanding the benefits of a plant based diet fall on deaf ears. What will it take for our society to wake up before it is too late? Jim, more must be done by all to reverse this man made epidemic of disease. Thanks for your wonderful work. I look forward each day to your perspectives and insights into our challenge to make the change to a natural plant based lifestyle.
    Keep up your wonderful work!


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