A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers concludes that girls who have higher intakes of sugary drinks are more likely to start their menstrual cycle at an earlier age as compared to those who consume these drinks in limited quantities. The former group of girls is also exposed to a higher risk of getting breast cancer in old age. The study was jointly undertaken by scientists from Harvard Medical School, as well as the Harvard School of Public Health. They published the findings of the study, named “Growing Up Today Study,” on Tuesday.
Statistics reveals that in 1990, the average age for the onset of period among American girls was 14 years. However, the age limit has been seen to decline over the last five decreased and is currently 12 years.
According to previous studies, it was proved that heavier girls began their period earlier than their lighter-weight peers. As of now, there are many studies going on that aim to establish the relation between sugar-sweetened beverages and childhood obesity. However, not much is being explored on the subject linking these drinks with menstruation.
In the current research, scientists evaluated the habits of the consumption of sugary drinks in as many as 5,500 girls of age group of 9 and 14. The study was spread across a long-term observation from 1996 to 2001. Data was also obtained from 17,000 adolescents for the study. At the time the girls were enrolled in the study, they had not begun their menstrual cycle. Over due course, they kept filling in questionnaires about their food habits, physical activities and other health details, such as height and weight.
The study demonstrated that girls who drank over 1.5 servings of sugary-drinks every day began their period 2.7 months ahead of the others, who consumed less than two servings per week. The former set is also 5% more likely to get breast cancer in old age.