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Obesity May Affect Early Puberty

From the Show: HER
Summary: Excess weight appears to be ushering in early puberty.
Air Date: 9/25/14
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Sarah Varney, health reporter
Sarah VarneySarah Varney reports on the implementation of the federal health law in the states and the effect of state budget woes on public programs, county governments and vulnerable populations including children and the elderly. Most recently, Sarah was the health reporter for KQED's statewide news program The California Report. She began reporting for KQED in 2002 and covered a range of subjects; from the ethics, politics and science of stem cell research and the religious and legal challenges over gay marriage to a story that debunked "toxin-sucking" foot pads. Sarah reports regularly for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered and for KHN's print partners.
  • Book Title: XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life
Obesity May Affect Early Puberty
The negative effects of obesity go far beyond your physical health, but also impact your mental and sexual health. 

In fact, excess weight appears to be ushering in early puberty. Girls in the U.S. are developing at a younger age compared to years past, and obesity appears to be largely to blame.  

Almost one out of four African-American girls (23%) will have their breasts begin to develop by age seven. These girls are physically developing into young women, but mentally they are still children. They are unsure as to why their family members and friends are looking at them differently. Or, if they do notice, they may begin to develop an insecure complex. 

Generally, obese girls may wait until they are older to have sex. However, when they do engage, they are typically more promiscuous, have multiple partners, and don't use protection. 

Health reporter, Sarah Varney, shares her research on obesity, puberty and sex and explains this relatively recent phenomenon.
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