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Researchers Say Girls Drinking Soda Causes Their Periods to Start Sooner, My 15-Year-Old Self Has Contrary Evidence

GirlsSodaPeriodsResearchers at Harvard say young girls who drink too many sugary drinks may enter puberty earlier than those who don’t. But… but… I was drinking soda straight from a bar spout when I was seven, so…

In case you’re wondering why this study was done to begin with, Jenny Carwile, postdoctoral associate at Harvard School of Public Health, told US News and World Report that “[s]tarting periods early is a risk factor for depression during adolescence and breast cancer during adulthood. Thus, our findings have implications beyond just starting menstruation early.” The report states:

Among nearly 5,600 girls aged 9 to 14 who were followed between 1996 and 2001, the researchers found that those who drank more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those who drank two or fewer of these drinks a week.

This finding was independent of the girls’ body mass index (a height-weight ratio that measures body fat), how much food they ate, or whether they exercised or not, the researchers noted.

While trying to stave off depression and breast cancer is certainly a worthy cause, I’m not sure if 2.7 months difference calls for any drastic measures. Of course there’s plenty of other studies done about the detriment of sugary drinks on the human body.

The full report was published today in the journal Human Reproduction. and also notes they did not measure “consumption during early childhood, which may be an important window of exposure.”

(image via Shutterstock, Copyright: AntonioDiaz)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."