Environmental connections to public health >>
Dr. Oz investigates early puberty in girls
By Lisa Frack, EWG Social Media Manager (and mother of a 4-year-old girl)
Dr. Mehmet Oz begins a recent segment of The Dr. Oz Show by telling us in no uncertain terms that he's not happy about early puberty in girls - as a dad and a doctor. He says:
"Something is going on with our nation's girls, and I'm sounding the alarm."
That something is early puberty. The fact that girls in the United States are reaching puberty at younger ages than in years past is not breaking news. But it is receiving more attention as Americans become aware of the effects of diet, obesity, and chemicals have on our health - specifically the health of our children.
In 2007, the Breast Cancer Fund commissioned a report by ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber on the topic -- "The Falling Age of Puberty." Steingraber conducted the first literature review to comprehensively assess what is happening to the timing of puberty, and what she found was that girls are getting their first periods, on average, a few months earlier than 40 years ago and developing breasts one to two years earlier. Another important finding was that minority and low-income girls are the hardest hit.
Early puberty isn't just unsettling to see. It has potentially serious psychological, social, and physical effects, including increasing the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Oz uses informative graphics to show how early puberty occurs physiologically, and why it causes adverse health effects.
Dr. Oz says to protect your daughters - and tells us how
These 3 short videos from Dr. Oz's important show on the subject are well worth a look. He interviews two doctors who specialize in children's health and two moms who are concerned about their own daughters early development (you should see the pictures comparing the girls to their mothers at the same age!).
Importantly, Dr. Oz and his expert guests offer practical steps we can take to protect our daughters. Like:
- Don't microwave food in plastic. Ever.
- Serve hormone-free or organic meat and dairy products.
- Use stainless steel water bottles - not plastic.
- Choose personal care products with fewer chemicals, and skip them altogether when you can. For example, in lieu of putting on sunscreen (which can contain toxic chemicals), wear hats and shirts.
Click this image to watch the 1st segment:Link