Hormones in Food May Lead to Early Puberty

Hormones in food may lead to early puberty

The pediatrician’s first reaction to then second-grader Kayla Haye’s budding breasts—a sign of the child’s premature puberty—was to consider placing her on therapeutic hormones.

“A 7-year-old on hormone medication? Well that’s not gonna happen,” said Adrianne McDonald-Haye, Kayla’s mom, recalling her response to that suggestion eight years ago. “Just the idea of putting my child on hormones triggered all kinds of concerns.”

So the Brooklyn, N.Y. mother took a different course of action, scouring the web and probing other parents on the topic. Ultimately, she was persuaded by claims—including from some physicians—that consumption of hormone-laden meat and poultry was linked to early-onset puberty, which is on the rise in general and more prevalent among Black children.

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!