Premature puberty in children
For several years, parents’ concern about the premature onset of puberty in their children has intensified. This is a natural concern and no parent would like their child to enter the adult world prematurely.
Natural puberty is the period during which secondary sexual traits are developed and a person becomes fertile. Physical changes during puberty are the direct or indirect result of the maturation of the hypothalamus in the central nervous system, the stimulation of the sexual organs, and the secretion of sex hormones. But premature puberty, according to epidemiological definitions, is the appearance of physical and hormonal signs of puberty under the age of 8 in girls and under 9 in boys.
Experts believe that many factors are involved in the occurrence of premature puberty, one of which is having inappropriate dietary patterns. “We can not claim that consuming a specific group of foods causes precocious puberty in children, but some eating habits and patterns can cause precocious puberty that reduces height growth,” said Dr. Mohammad Reza Vafa, a nutritionist
. “After reaching puberty, especially in girls, it is a complication.” The nutritionist stressed that the habit of consuming foods that have a high-calorie density but low nutritional value, can lead to overweight and obesity in children, and this weight gain leads to premature puberty in them.
Dr. Mohammad Reza Mohajer Tehrani, a specialist in endocrinology and metabolism, also said in this regard: “When the process of puberty occurs, the child or adolescent faces rapid growth in height. In many cases, a child or adolescent may be completely normal at puberty, or even slightly taller than their peers, but early puberty increases estrogen secretion and closes growth plates prematurely. will be.”
“Premature puberty is directly related to short stature in adulthood,” said the associate professor at Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
Prevent child weight gain
Prevent Obesity in Children
Overweight and obesity are some of the causes of premature puberty in children. Dr. Wafa suggests that parents correct their children’s eating habits and habits to prevent overweight, premature puberty, and its many side effects: “Unfortunately, today’s machine life has made children very sedentary. . “If parents do not pay attention to what their children eat, many diseases will develop in them.” The associate professor of Iran University of Medical Sciences adds: “Improper dietary patterns and improper taste can lead to premature puberty in children.
For example, if parents should limit the consumption of fatty and sweet foods and snacks in their children’s diet and their taste from the beginning of complementary foods (6 months), not accustomed to eating fatty, salty, and sweet foods. “Children should not be accustomed to consuming high-fat dairy products or sweet desserts and fried foods that cause weight gain and premature puberty.”
When asked by Dr. Wafa about foods such as chocolate or ginseng that are claimed to cause premature puberty, he replied: “These claims are neither fully confirmed nor refuted. Some foods, such as chocolate, are high in calories and can cause premature puberty as you gain weight. On the other hand, perhaps other claimed compounds such as ginseng and caffeine do not cause puberty on their own, but none of these compounds are necessary for children’s diets, and children’s bodies do not need these foods at all to grow properly. “So removing them from the children’s diet is not a problem for them.”
According to this nutritionist, nutrition is the science of balance, and if all foods are included in a balanced and proportionate volume in the diet of children and they can be sufficiently active during the day, there will be no need to eliminate unnecessary additions to their diet. Was.
The general definition of precocious puberty
What is meant by precocious puberty?
The normal time of onset of puberty in girls is from about 9 to about 13.5 years and in boys from about 9 to 14 years. If a girl under the age of 8 and a boy under the age of 9 have early signs of puberty, it is usually said that they have reached puberty. If a girl after 13.5 and a boy after 14 years of age show signs of puberty, it is usually said that she has reached puberty late.
Although there is still no conclusive evidence about the direct effect of food on precocious puberty, precocious puberty can not only impair height growth but also cause psychological problems for children.
When our children have not yet reached mental maturity and have not developed enough in terms of thinking, reasoning, and decision-making power and the symptoms of precocious puberty appear in them, they will face many psychological problems and mood problems. Therefore, if you see the first signs of precocious puberty in your child, you must take him to the doctor so that he can diagnose the cause of this disease and prevent premature puberty in scientific ways.
In girls, these symptoms manifest themselves in the form of mood swings and breast germination, and in boys, with thickening of the facial and body hair, hybridization of the voice, and the development of aggressive states in them.
The effect of environmental factors on precocious puberty
Girls are 10 times more likely to have precocious puberty than boys. American experts believe that in addition to family history, environmental factors can also affect the onset of precocious puberty, especially in girls. Here are some of the most important of these factors:
Pesticides: Unfortunately, one of the challenges of today’s world in the field of agriculture, the improper and inappropriate use of pesticides, fertilizers, and chemical pesticides in farms and gardens. Farmers and gardeners should consider the standard consumption dose for using these products and observe the expiration date of agricultural products. Continued use of fruits, vegetables, and summer crops that contain pesticide residues and pesticides can accelerate the maturation process in children.
Factors affecting precocious puberty
Plastic containers: Bisphenol A is a chemical compound that can be found in plastic containers. Continued use of these plastic containers to store or consume hot, hot, and fatty foods in children can disrupt the normal functioning of their body hormones and increase the risk of premature puberty. It is better for parents to use glass containers to serve their children and not to throw their kindergarten and school food in plastic containers.
Life by the sea
Girls who live near the sea are 10 to 20 times more likely to reach premature puberty than other girls. Researchers say that this may be due to the continued use of offshore foods.
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