Health experts are voicing concern over the rate at which American girls are reaching puberty. They are most worried about the physical and psychological effects. A study published online today in Pediatrics evaluated 1,239 girls ages 6 to 8. Researchers used breast development to gauge the onset of puberty. The study found that by age 7, 23 percent of blacks, 15 percent of Hispanics and 10 percent of whites had developed enough to match the criteria for puberty. Higher body weight is being identified as one of the factors causing girls to reach puberty earlier. This is not good news for anyone, especially for black and brown communities. We've got to get a handle on our health and the health of our children. While critics are panning the first lady's vacation, maybe they should be thanking her for her initiative on ending childhood obesity.
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—Nsenga K. Burton