The changing face of kids’ health

Just when I thought I couldn’t be more distraught about the state of children’s health, I came across a new article that made my heart sink even further.

The article cited a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Dermatology, which examined children’s health data between 1979 and 2007. And the researchers found a “significant decrease in the mean age of children seeking treatment for acne during this 28-year period.”

Among other startling discoveries, they found that since 1979, the number of kids aged 6 to 8 who were under a doctor’s care for acne treatment rose from 0 to 2 percent. That might seem like a small number. But consider for a moment just how preposterous it is for even one child at this extremely young age to have acne.

So what’s driving this disturbing trend? As I’m sure you’ve probably guessed by now, it all comes back to the national obesity epidemic.

In girls, for instance, excess body fat triggers greater secretion of estrogen. This unnaturally sped-up process wreaks havoc on many parts of the body—including the skin.

Along similar lines, a recent Harvard study (in which researchers studied 5,583 years between 9 and 14 years old) concluded that girls who frequently consume sugary drinks start their periods earlier than those who don’t.

The problems sugar and processed junk food is causing in our kids are at epidemic levels. But the solution is easy. Feed your kids well. Cut the sugar and go for lean protein. And when I say cut the sugar, I’m not just talking about cupcakes, ice cream, and candy, but also things that convert to sugar in the body: i.e., white foods like pasta, rice and bread.

Sticking with the good stuff doesn’t just keep the body healthy, it also keeps it’s biological clock running as it should—not too fast or slow.


“7-Year-Olds With Breakouts: Why The Face Of Acne Is Getting Younger,” Yahoo Health, 2/9/15

“Changing Age of Acne Vulgaris Visits: Another Sign of Earlier Puberty?” Pediatric Dermatology 2011; 28(6): 645–648,

“Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and age at menarche in a prospective study of US girls,”Human Reproduction 2015; 30(3):675-683