Heavier children reaching puberty earlier
There is evidence that kids who pack on the pounds are more likely to reach puberty early.
Maturing early can have a domino effect on a child's psyche and health. Researchers found that girls with a high body mass index may develop a year ahead of their friends and as early as second grade.
Imagine being seven or eight years old and already developing. Doctors says when that happens, the girls are at a higher risk for low self-esteem, depression and lower grades, not to mention the health issues, like hypertension and cancer and diabetes.
Part of the solution is make sure kids sleep. Children who sleep more tend to eat less, consuming 134 fewer calories per day, and having a lower level of the hunger hormone.
Parents also need to recognize that they're the role models. You can't expect your kids will eat apple slices while you down french fries.