Hormones in Food: New Study Encourages a Closer Look

NPR

Driving home from work yesterday, we were mesmerized by a story we heard on NPR's All Things Considered. Given our preoccupation with what's in, on, and around our food, we were sucked in at the beginning when we heard that a new study shows that young girls are maturing at a faster rate than ever—and what's in the industrial food supply could have something to do with it.

The study, released by a journal called Pediatrics, links the early rate at which young
girls are reaching puberty to several factors, including early obesity and environmental factors.

Here's what especially struck us from the story, which comes from NPR's transcript:

WILSON: Scientists don't know what triggers the early onset of puberty. Chemicals in the environment, the increasingly inactive life of children, and the growing epidemic of obesity among U.S. children are considered culprits. Study author Dr. Frank Biro says a change in lifestyle wouldn't hurt.

Dr. BIRO: I think that we could all stand living a little greener. That would probably be a healthier approach to life. So I think that we could try to eat more of the fruits and vegetables, eating together as a family.

That's right: we could all stand living a little greener. We were floored by the implications of the study, of course, but even more so by the seemingly simple answer to putting our children back on a more natural path: eat more fruits and vegetables, organic if possible, and be sure to steer clear of dairy and meats treated with hormones. And get outside and exercise.

It doesn't take a magic pill or an expensive shot; instead, it takes a shift in lifestyle—one that involves living a little greener.

The report gave us pause and certainly made us ever more aware of the importance of scrutinizing everything we put into our bodies. We're pretty fastidious about this, but wonder how others deal with high-fructose corn syrup, corn-fed beef, and poultry that's been treated with antibodies. We encourage friends to watch their intake of chemicals, too, and have seen a few friends change their habits to incorporate organics.

What about you? Do news reports like these encourage you to examine your lifestyle and make changes? And do you encourage people around you to do the same?

Read plenty more at NPR on their site and the Shots health blog.

Related posts:
Green Guide's Beef Label Decoder
Raw Milk: What's the Hold Up?
Agave Nectar: Helpful or Harmful?

Image: Flickr member m4tik, licensed under Creative Commons.