(NaturalPath) According to a study by Kaiser Permanente published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, daughters of overweight mothers who develop gestational diabetes are significantly more likely to experience an earlier onset of one sign of puberty.

Previous research has shown that American girls are maturing earlier than ever, with early puberty increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and cancer in adolescence and adulthood. The study included 421 girls and their mothers in an ethnically diverse sample.

“Very few previous studies have examined the association between maternal pregnancy or pre-pregnancy factors and the timing of puberty in daughters. Understanding what causes earlier onset of puberty is important in designing prevention strategies,” explained the study’s lead author. “Women who are planning on becoming pregnant or are pregnant should be aware that their obesity or gestational diabetes may influence their child’s health in the future, beyond the known risk of childhood obesity.”

Through annual clinic visits, the researchers found that girls whose mothers were overweight before their pregnancy and had gestational diabetes were 2.5 times more likely to have early puberty, regardless of race, ethnicity, household income or the mother’s age at her first menstrual cycle.

So mothers should be aware of how their weight could affect their daughters’ health down the road.


raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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