You may want to consider keeping your daughter away from soda. Recent research suggests that consuming a lot of soda, and other sugary drinks, could lead to early puberty. Justdrinking a single soda each day could cause their first period to occur several months early.
More Sugar Equals More Sex Hormones:
A study examined 5,600 girls between the age of 9 and 14. The focus of the study was on the amount of sugary drinks that they consumed each day and the occurrence their first period.
The study found that girls who drank more than 1.5 servings each day experienced their first period 2.7 months before girls that drank two or less drinks each week.
Researchers believe that by consuming large quantities of sugar, bodies increase the amount of insulin and various sex hormones. These sex hormones are connected to an earlier onset of puberty.
Drinks with added sugar often have a higher glycemic index than drinks that are naturally sweetened. Consuming high-glycemic foods can cause an increase in insulin concentrations in the body, which in turn leads to a higher concentration of sex hormones.
No Definitive Proof Linking Soda and Early Puberty:
While the findings make a link between soda and early puberty, researchers point out that the study does not definitively prove that soda is responsible for earlier menstruation; though, it is another potential reason for people to limit their consumption of these beverages.
Researchers suggest that the study instead shows a link between the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and early menstruation. The drinks that were considered “sugary drinks”, as defined in the study, include sodas, sweetened teas, and sweetened fruit drinks. These beverages have added sugar with no actual health value.
Even though this study does not directly connect the consumption of soda and early puberty, it is evident that girls are reaching puberty earlier than prior generations. The American Beverage Association would like further research, before scientists and doctorsbegin strictly recommending that girls stay away from sugary drinks.
Health Issues of Early Puberty:
Starting puberty early could lead to additional health risks for young girls, including depression during their adolescence and an increased risk of breast cancer during adulthood.
In addition to potentially causing early puberty, sugary drinks could lead to other health issues. Soda and other sugary drinks contain glucose, corn syrup, and sucrose, which are all linked to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.
These sugary drinks have no nutritional value and may cause health issues. Instead of consuming soda and other drinks, doctors recommend that the public, including young girls, make healthier options.
Healthier Alternatives To Soda:
Instead of consuming drinks full of sugar, with added nutritional value, children of all ages should be eating a healthy diet, centered on a balance of nutritional items. Healthier alternatives to soda drinks include naturally sweetened beverages and of course water.
Soda and early puberty may be connected, but further research will be needed to come to a definitive conclusion. For now, perhaps it is best to keep your children away from these beverages and find a healthier option for them to drink.