WADSWORTH, OH (WOIO) - A disturbing new study says little girls are reaching puberty earlier than ever ,some of them, developing at age seven!
Nine year old Natalia is still very much a little girl, who likes to climb rocks and chase animals. But she's quickly developing into a young woman.
Her mother says she's watching her body change.
"She started developing parts, the new parts. And she's like every other woman, she hates bras," said Frida Sylver.
According to the study Natalia is among a population of American girls hitting puberty earlier than in years past.
Doctors say the increased obesity rates are believed to play a key role in early puberty since body fat can produce sex hormones.
And there are risks to early puberty including a slight increase in breast cancer risk. This is most likely due to the fact that earlier first menstruation means a longer lifetime exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can feed some tumors.