Study: Boys are entering puberty earlier

The New York Times  reported that a large study “released by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that boys are entering puberty earlier now than several decades ago – or at least earlier than the time frame doctors have historically used as a benchmark.”

The study, “widely considered the most reliable attempt to measure puberty in American boys, estimates that boys are showing signs of puberty six months to two years earlier than was reported in previous research, which historically taught that 11 ½ was the general age puberty began in boys. But experts cautioned that because previous studies were smaller or used different approaches, it is difficult to say how much earlier boys might be developing.”

USA Today reported, “African-American boys in the new study showed signs of puberty even earlier, at 9.14 years old; Hispanic boys did at 10.40 years old.”

Forbes reported, “Theories about why this is happening range from higher levels of obesity, higher density of calories in processed foods, and physical inactivity, to chemicals in food and water. Any of those potential causes might interfere with normal hormone production, but so far none of them have been proven as a definite cause.”

The Huffington Post reports, “In recent years, studies have drawn attention to early-onset puberty in girls in the U.S., including a 2010 paper that found more girls begin breast development at age 7 or 8 than a decade earlier. But the new study … is among the first to look at the issue in American boys.”

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