New research backs up studies that show that early onset puberty in girls is linked to obesity in a lot of cases.
Forbes reports that the study followed over 1,200 girls from ages 6 to 8 in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Cincinnati. There was a strong correlation between body mass index (BMI) and earlier onset puberty. Overweight girls developed earlier breast maturation by about a year (age 8 vs. age 9).
Obesity is considered to be the main factor that causes early onset puberty but there are external factors that can affect female hormones such as chemicals and other environmental factors. Scientists say that early puberty is a serious problem because it’s been linked to several health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.