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Trendsetters: Little girls fast track into ladies even before they know it

In an age when life is always in fast forward mode, and milestones are met long before they are due, it is alarming that little girls not more than 10 years, are reaching puberty 18 months sooner than their mothers and 2 years earlier than their grandmothers, a new research has revealed. //

Early puberty is triggered by a range of factors that includes high levels of obesity, a lack of exercise and most certainly, broken homes, according to the report. Experts have expressed concern about this trend, warning parents and teachers to be adequately prepared for children beginning adolescence early.

Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman studied the onset of puberty among three generations of females across Britain. He analyzed, that girls in the present day start puberty at an average age of 10.25 years, as against their mothers who began at 11.75 years and their grandmothers at 12 years.

Precocious puberty, a technical term to describe the early onset off puberty, definitely warranted a threadbare study. A study by scientists in Bristol in 2000 suggested that on an average, one in six girls was reaching puberty before the age of eight with one in 14 boys displaying similar indications.

Dr Sigman's report has indicated that new generations of girls are getting heavier as generations progress, the extra body fat, a key contributor to triggering puberty. Extra Fat causes an increase in levels of the hormone leptin, which is thought to be involved in triggering puberty.

Obesity can be attributed to change in eating patterns, lifestyle habits, lack of exercise as compared to mothers and grandmothers. Consumption of fatty foods, and sweets, coupled with lack of exercise are all causes for early puberty, according to the finding. The ubiquitous couch potato syndrome amongst today’s youngsters contributes to lack of activity and bingeing on fast foods that add to all the extra calories. Troubled family relationships, a byproduct of the present age, results in broken homes, which causes a lot of stress in children, known to trigger Precocious puberty.

Dr Sigman said: 'Early puberty is more than an inconvenient surprise for children and their families. Sudden unexpected physical and emotional changes can be confusing and difficult to deal with for both boys and girls. The best advice for parents is to make sure they have planned sufficiently for early puberty and prepared their child for the changes they may experience.' Dr Sigman added: 'The most valuable advice for parents is to ensure their child leads an active lifestyle and is happy and healthy.'


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