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How the obesity epidemic is ruining America's sex life

obesity-pedestrians

From 1980-2010, the number of obese American children aged 6-11 more than doubled, from 7 percent to 18 percent.

While childhood obesity can presage a host of problems, greatly increasing the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, less discussed is the effect it will eventually have on a person’s sex life.

In the new book “XL Love” (Rodale), health-policy journalist Sarah Varney informs us that these negative effects begin surprisingly early for many, such as how overweight girls begin puberty younger than their healthy-weight counterparts.

“Some 15 percent of American girls now begin puberty by first or second grade,” Varney writes. “Over the last quarter-century, the age at which American girls begin menstruating has decreased by 2.5 months."

Carlton Gorton, a doctor in Belzoni, Miss., an area with higher-than-average rates of obesity, told Varney that “he has discovered girls as young as 5 and 6 years old who are developing pubic hair. These alarming signs of puberty are usually related to his patients’ ample body fat.”

Some of these young patients, whom the doctor describes as “off the growth chart,” even come to him for monthly hormone shots that “hold them off from going through puberty.”

Early puberty, meanwhile, leads to a host of dangerous issues.

“Among girls who go though early puberty,” Varney writes, “there is an increased incidence of depression; alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse; riskier sexual adventures; teen pregnancy; and even suicide attempts.”

Click for more from The New York Post.