By Deborah Rotenstein, M.D., Pediatric Alliance — Endocrinology Division






Consumption of sugary beverages by girls results in a greater chance of starting menstrual periods at a younger age than girls who do not, according to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction. The study was based on 5,583 girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years of age. This association remained even after adjusting for race and ethnicity, activity and inactivity, birth weight, maternal age at menarche, frequency of eating dinner as a family, household composition and height. Even when adjusting for weight using BMI (body mass index) values, the relationship remained significant. While diet soda and fruit juice were not associated with the age of onset of menstruation, fruit drinks and sugary soda consumption significantly predicted earlier onset of periods. The same was not true for iced tea!

Such results suggest that public health measures to decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages are needed.