Sugary drinks linked to earlier periods

Sugary drinks linked to earlier periods

Countless studies have linked sugary drinks to obesity, diabetes and other health problems in kids. Could these same beverages also be causing girls to get their periods sooner?

According to a study published in Human Reproduction, girls who consumed sugary drinks more frequently tended to start their menstrual periods earlier than girls who did not.

During the five year study, researchers followed 5,583 girls ages 9 – 14 years old before any of them had started their periods. Each of the girls was asked about their diet including how often they had a sugary beverage.  Researchers concluded that girls who drank more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those who consumed two or fewer drinks a week.

“Our study adds to increasing concern about the wide-spread consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks among children and adolescents,” said lead researcher Dr. Karin Michels, associate professor at Harvard Medical School in a news release.

“The main concern is about child obesity, but the study suggests that age of first menstruation occurred earlier among girls with the highest consumption of drinks sweetened with added sugar.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the diet of American kids.

Dr. Gloria Kim, an obstetrician gynecologist on staff Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., feels that fruit drinks and pop should only be given on special occasions.

“Sugar sweetened drinks have been found to have minimal nutritional value and should be avoided considering the potential risk,” says Dr. Kim.

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One Comment

  1. American Beverage Association, ABA Communications February 2, 2015 at 9:04 am · Reply

    First this study fails to prove that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption causes early onset of menarche, as even the authors themselves acknowledge. Second, the authors used self-reported data and focused on sugars from beverages. However, they did not look at all sources of sugars. Contrary to the misinformation stated here, government data has shown that food is the number one source of added sugars for children and adolescents. Bottom line: neither this study nor the body of science substantiates the bold conclusions cited here.
    -American Beverage Association

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.