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childhood obesity | early puberty in young girls

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Emily is 11 and looks much older. She was on the show Too Fat for Fifteen: Fighting Back on the Style Network this year.   I blogged about it here.  I loved the glimpse into American’s lives and I was saddened to see the parents were totally to blame for their children’s obesity. Not one of those children came from a family with parents who were of normal weight.

I am extremely concerned about this epidemic and one of the certifications I’ll be taking soon is on children.  It’s a passion for me because I feel like they are helpless and it is up to us (as adults and parents) to teach them what they need to know.  I’m not a parent yet, but I hope to be soon. And, whether I have a boy or a girl, it is important to give them the tools to succeed in life, including their weight and health.

It is sad to see the risks that these young kids have due to their childhood obesity. Even if they grow up and fight back and change their obesity, those early years of obesity will affect them for the rest of their lives…their emotional and physical health…forever.

One of the huge risks that is becoming noticeable is EARLY PUBERTY among young girls.   Look at old photos of your mother when she was 7 or 8…she looked 7 or 8.  Look at old pictures of yourself. How did you look? Look at our young girls today….young girls today are maturing at an astronomical rate!!!  They are hitting puberty at seven years old! Seven!  A lot of this is coming from the added hormones that exist due to the excess weight. Men and women who are obese produce more estrogen and less testosterone due to the excess weight!

What are 3 medical consequences of early puberty? It’s not just about girls looking older than they really are…there are serious medical consequences!

  1. Early and extra exposure to estrogen and other hormones leads to increased risk of breast and uterine cancer
  2. Type 2 diabetes risk increases
  3. Social and emotional consequences of looking older than a girls’ mental maturity.

What are the two main causes of early puberty in young girls? (1) Obesity and (2) hormones in our food!

What can you do? I will be doing these things for my kids and I’m sure sometimes it will be a struggle. We can’t do everything right as parents or as humans, for ourselves or our family. But we, the women of the family, have the power to control our family’s diets to some degree and need to use that power for good not evil! 🙂

  • The problem is not as much the FAT as it is the SUGAR. (This is true with heart disease and diabetes!)
  • Eat from the farm, not from the factory. Eat real whole foods versus creations to sell a new product.
  • Eat fruits and veggies, not sweets.
  • Eat hormone free/organic milk and meat.
  • Limit animal fats.
  • Eat fish, plants, veggies, fruits.
  • No BPA bottles.
  • Do not microwave plastic.
  • Use clothing instead of sunscreen on kids.

What do you think? Are you scared?  How can we get the word out?


Beth Daze - Tori, I totally agree with you! I can’t BELIEVE that the puberty age is becoming so early!! And little kids are soooo obese! It’s horrible!
I agree that we totally need to change that for our children. My biggest concern is getting organic milk and meat. Of course it’s out there and available. But so much more expensive. Kids are expensive anyway and while those options are out there, they seem to be double the cost! It’s really hard to spend that money on top of everything else.
Also, I have not heard that sunscreen has an effect on this. What is it that you’ve heard/read?

Becky Baxter - Beth, my suggestion for cutting cost is to use Costco or other bulk retailer. Consumer Reports did a study and found that they do save you money on many products. I like Costco because they have a wide veriety of organic options. They offer whole and 1% organic milk. Even if you can’t change the meat, changing the milk is a great start! Small steps. 🙂

Renee Booe - Great post as always. That’s awesome that you will be getting certification for children too!!! I didn’t know sunscreen was bad. Added to the list. I wish we could be organic meat in Abilene. Last note, we have decided to use glass bottles. Just didn’t like the look of my plastic bpa free bottles after a few months. Even being washed by hand.

tori - @Beth – We can’t even get organic meat here (like you, Renee in Abilene)! Sux! We have switched to organic milk though. And, switching to organic is HARD….when you’re on a budget it’s really hard to suck up the extra cost but after the research I’ve done…we do organic on things like peppers, potatoes, etc that are the most important and things w/ a hard outer skin like oranges I still get regular.

@Becky – I’M SO JEALOUS!!! We don’t have a Costco….just Sams and I’m so jealous of all my friends w/ such great and cheap organic choices at Costco. It just hasn’t caught on here and people aren’t willing to pay the price yet here. I’m actually hoping we’ll get to move simply for the WHOLE FOODS!!

tori - OH AND SUNSCREEN – I haven’t heard but ONE thing on that recently so I’ll have to research it more! Evidently there’s something in the chemicals that isn’t good and it’s recommended to use more clothing – hats and long sleeves – as much as possible.

Audra - Something else of note – kids need to be active! It’s so easy to let them watch cartoons and play video games all day instead of making the effort to take them outside to play, or to find ways to get them active indoors if you have to. My kids are such picky eaters – each in a different way, of course – that we have to counteract their intake with activity. They’re young enough now that they’re not arguing to stay inside and play a game or whatever instead yet, and I hope I can stay vigilant and kick them outside to play when they’re older!

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