Animal Research Minute – Could our diets affect when puberty begins?

Well, the Journal Sentinel reports high-calorie diets may cause girls to reach puberty four years earlier than prior generations. New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests higher calorie diets cause girls to reach a weight that triggers puberty at an earlier age. Research with primates, which are genetically similar to people, has revealed a connection between diet, body growth and earlier puberty. This research is significant because puberty triggers hormonal changes that can be emotionally difficult for younger girls, whose brains are still immature.

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