Girls consuming high amount of soda with sugary drinks are likely to have their first menstrual period three months prior to those girls who consume less sugary drinks, says a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School.
Research was conducted over 5,500 U.S. girls, ages between 9 to 14 years. All the girls involved didn’t have their first menstrual period at the time of study. All the participants were asked to give a self-assessment report that included frequency of consumption of soda and sugary drinks including beverages and juice. Study authors observed their data for five years from 1996 to 2001.
After analysing the collected data, researchers found a link between drinks rich in sugar content and first menstrual period. Girls who had more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks a day were likely to have their first menstrual period three months earlier than those girls who consumed drinks that weren’t sugar rich.
Lead author, Karin Michels raised her concern over girls entering puberty in early age, especially in developing countries. “Our study adds to increasing concern about the widespread consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks among children and adolescents in the USA and elsewhere,” Michels said.”The results are important because researchers have observed that girls in developed countries may be entering puberty at younger ages, but the reason for this change remains unclear,” she added.
The study also took account on height, weight, Body Mass Index, daily activity and diet. Except BMI, none of the factors affected periods in girls. Researchers found that BMI on a higher side had a minute effect on the periods. However, it was found in the study that sugar rich drinks had a more pronounce effect on the same.
Another study by Dr. Joshua Yang, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, says that girls who enter puberty at early age have 5% more chances of developing breast cancer. Thus, sugary drinks might trigger breast cancer in girls as well.
The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction.