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Insufficient Nutrition and Dietary Changes Impact the Age of Puberty in Children in the GCC


Evaluation and management of the effects of early and late puberty will be deliberated at Internal Medicine Conference.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 10, 2015 --(PR.com)-- The age of puberty tends to be earlier in warmer climates like the GCC and Middle East, compared to Europe and USA. The obesity epidemic we are seeing in UAE has contributed to earlier puberty in girls and later puberty in boys in general.

According to a recent study published in Women’s Healthcare journal, it is suggested that excess fat in the body and high consumption of meat are the possible contributing factor to the declining age of puberty. Early puberty is also considered a cause for a variety of diseases later in life such as an increased risk of breast cancer in females.

“Early puberty leads to an early end to growth and ultimately short stature as an adult. As for late puberty, children facing that also go through difficult time mentally as they feel different from their peers who are much bigger and appear more mature. Some children may have hormonal problems where their body can't ever go through puberty without medical assistance,” says Dr Shadi Taba, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, Health Plus, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Dr Taba will discuss the evaluation and management of early and late puberty at the Paediatrics conference at the Healthcare Recruitment & Training Fair organized by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions that will take place from October 31st – November 2nd 2015 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, UAE.

Early puberty can have grave complications. A child may not be ready psychologically for puberty to start early, especially for a girl at a very young age such as between the ages 8-11. This could affect the child's mental health and self-esteem, especially when they start feeling different than their peers because they look "mature" even though they are actually young.

“When a child experiences early puberty (any physical changes before age nine in a boy or eight in a girl) or late puberty (no physical changes by age 13 in a girl and 14 in a boy), children need to seek medical care immediately. They may visit the general paediatrician’s office, but preferably seek the assistance of a paediatric endocrinologist. If there is clearly an effect on the child's feelings, psychiatric referral may be necessary,” says Dr Taba.
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