I used to be pretty far out, man.  At least, I went through a phase of several years in which I was pretty far out.  I wore wooden jewelry and really tried to believe in dumb things with no real proof, evidence, or logic, like fairies or Astral travel.  I noticed during that time, the people I encountered, and the ideologies I came across – there wasn’t a large requirement for much proof, evidence, or logical thought.  It’s almost if it was more valid if it just came to you from somewhere out in the cosmos.  Neale Donald Walsch said so!

I spoke in Grass Valley, California last weekend, one of the great American meccas for the alternative, New Age, and all things in between.  Only a few minutes into my talk about how a high body temperature and high metabolism is a strong asset for the proper functioning of our body’s systems, a long-haired man adorned in purple robes interrupted me…

“You know, there are some that think that we are burning through life too quickly.  In the last hundred years the average age of first menstruation has fallen from around age 17 to just 11 or 12.”

He kept going on for quite some time, sort of patronizing me a little bit as if, because it made some sense in his mind that we were burning up too quickly, which is why we were hitting puberty early and aging more quickly, that it was right.  And I was wrong.

I quickly left the topic of early puberty and got back to some of the basics that I wanted to discuss.  But this has been marinating in my brain ever since, and his idea, although only heard by a handful of people, still deserves to be properly dismissed.

Early puberty and childhood obesity are very closely linked.

Obesity, however, is certainly not linked with a high metabolic rate or high body temperature.  Low body temperature in dogs is a strong predictor for obesity.  Others are exploring the link between low body temperature in humans and obesity as well – a link they will find a tight correlation to if anyone bothers to actually follow through and study it properly.

It’s as if the same growth factors that trigger the production of excess body fat are the same growth factors that trigger the development of secondary sex characteristics and the onset of puberty.  Being a chubby kid who pubed out at 11, developing 3-4 years faster than my father whom I share many identical physical characteristics (same height, same shoe size, etc.), I got to experience this first hand.  Body fat itself seems to affect the amount and type of estrogen produced – perhaps a reason for the link between early menstruation and above-average weight.

Anyway, all the reasons for the decline in first age of menstruation and the onset of puberty are unknown.  But we can certainly say that “high body temperature” or “high metabolism” or “burning through energy too quickly” doesn’t appear to be a cause, but more of a solution.