I was recently inspired by future U.S. president Steve Taylor to address the topic of teen pregnancy. Mr. Taylor was working on a presentation or paper or something about the topic, the bulk of his work focusing on education, family planning, prophylactic distribution, etc. However, Steve-a-rooski failed to address what the root cause of this issue might actually be. Being a root problem kind of thinker, I have taken it upon myself to look at why the United States has more than twice the teen pregnancy rate of any other industrialized nation. And get excited, because in the next few paragraphs I will bring forward what is truly, after nearly 3 decades of living on planet earth, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever %$#@ing heard.
When it comes to teen pregnancy, most people want to blame Godlessness, poor parenting, and most of all, Britney Spears. Now, please take the time to visit this link (rated R), and witness firsthand that the American diet is causing overemotionality, alterations in normal sex hormone development, and that there is a long litany of reasons to ?leave Britney alone!
Now that you have scarred yourself for life (if you visited the above link), you can take solace in the fact that I will never again paste links to such a disturbing site ever again. Ever!
Let’s see, where were we, I have no idea.
Oh yes of course, teen pregnancy.
First and foremost I’d like to point out a phenomenon that is a very strong indicator of major physiological alterations in the normal development of the human being. Just 100 years ago the average age of first menstruation (menarche) in young women was 17. It is now, in the United States, 12. The youngest average age of first menstruation is among African American girls (about 6 months earlier). Childhood type II Diabetes and obesity are also much higher in African American girls, more so than in any large group of people in the history of the human race. Of course, all of these abnormalities are purely hormonal at the core, a fact that intelligent people like Gary Taubes have found to be virtually irrefutable.
And now, drum roll please, cut and pasted from what could have been any number of websites, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever $%@!ing heard?
?The improved nutrition and socioeconomic status of the population in industrialized countries has resulted in a decrease in the mean age at menarche.
Yes, I agree absolutely. 100 years ago children were eating meager foods like grass fed meats, whole grain porridge, whole butter, farm fresh eggs, and exclusively local and organic fruits and vegetables. Now, thank the flippin? almighty, we have improved the nutrition of our children to microwaved chicken nuggets that contain 14 derivatives of GMO corn, ketchup (featuring such nutritionally elite substances as high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, and MSG), macaroni with artificially colored and flavored processed cheese powder, 40-ounce Mountain Dews, Fruit Loops (with 11 essential vitamins and minerals), and Double stuffed Oreos (with probably double the nutrition of just a regular Oreo). Fast food has also been an asset to getting good nutrition real fast instead of having to wait on some crappy homecooked meal from scratch.
Furthermore, the fact that overweight diabetic African American girls are so socioeconomically elite must be the reason that they are experiencing menarche even earlier. I mean, the psychological satisfaction of being 10 years old, eating a nourishing bowl of Kellogg’s cereal because your parents can’t afford anything else ? and even if they could wouldn’t have time to make anything else because they’re working 3 jobs, and knowing, while sitting in pink K-Mart sweats that would be baggy on most adults, that you are probably Harvard bound and destined to be a real winner in American society must trigger something in the sex glands to induce early menstruation. I see this as definitely being the case among 7 and 8 year-old girls who are developing breasts and facial hair. Improved socioeconomic status for sure! Improved nutrition? Claro que si!
Leaving that behind forevermore, the claim that nutrition is the root cause of the teen pregnancy epidemic seems, on the surface, to be a bit of a stretch, but is it? It is obvious that if girls were still healthy and reaching menarche at the physiologically appropriate age of 17, that teen pregnancy would be drastically reduced. Sex is increasingly interesting to young people because sex hormones are triggered much, much earlier. And I know that Toucan Sam doesn’t actively force teens to have sex (although his large bulbous beak and O-shaped cereal is certainly metaphorical), his hormone-altering refined ingredients are a core factor.
In other words, we definitely need to educate teens about condoms. However, the reason we need to do this is because they are interested in sex. The reason they are interested in sex is because their sex hormones are activating 5 years early. The reason hormones are activating early is because of hormonal disturbances in the endocrine system ? the same cause of diabetes and obesity that are also correlated with lowered age of menarche. And the cause of hormonal disturbance is a diet with an imbalanced amount of refined carbohydrate foods that are nutritionally lacking without complementary wholesome natural foods that our species has relied upon since our infancy. Thus the root cause of the United States having the highest teen pregnancy rate is the fact that we have the world’s unhealthiest children, caused by the worst diet as evidenced by our epidemic rates of childhood obesity, type II diabetes, etc. IgF hormone in commercial milk ain’t helping either.
Poor, non-industrialized nations have far lesser rates of teen pregnancy than do ?lucky, well-nourished, socioeconomically stalwart? countries like ours, and it’s certainly not because they are better informed about birth control or have more access to it. It’s also definitely not because having children at a young age is less socially acceptable. It’s because they are abstinent until a later age, which is a hell of a lot easier to do when you haven’t hit puberty yet.
So leave Britney alone! You’re lucky she even performs for you bastards!
Hum as this is my life’s work I feel like I need to comment here.
It is interesting and true that the US has the highest rate of Teen preg in the industrialized world… however, I’d like to clarify that it most definitely does not have higher rates of teen preg than the “non-industrialized world”
Take Madagascar for example. Average age of 1st sex in Mada is 16… average age of marriage is 18. And this is average… so let’s just say that I’ve seen A LOT of 12, 13, 14 year old mothers- and yes they often are single, in rural areas and poor and embarrassed so let’s just say it wasn’t a planned pregnancy. I did a sex survey here in a rural area and found that of 132 middle schoolers who were sexually active only 4 claimed to always use condoms (and no the other’s weren’t using the pill or any other contraception). And although irregular periods are unheard of in Mada, yes it is common for a girl to have her period at 12. And yes I am talking about rural areas where the diet is of FRESH veggies, legumes, meat, fruits and lots of rice. In Mada’s public schools, sex is talked about just about as much as now, thanks to policy changes and such, it is talked about in many American public school systems- that is to say… it’s just not really discussed.
In other industrialized nations I would suggest that where teen preg rates are lower this is not because of a difference in diet but more of an informed comprehensive sex edu starting from a young age. We see that in the US the highest rates of teen preg are in states with the strictest laws against teaching sex in schools. I spoke with “sex ed” teachers in New Orleans schools, but let’s call them “abstinence only” teachers- as if one wants to receive federal funding abstinence is all a school is allowed to teach. I learned that they had to tear out pictures of condoms and other contraception in their health books- as heaven forbid a student see a condom! My oh my that condom picture just might make them have sex after all! I spoke with a school nurse who informed me that she tells her students that “premarital sex causes death.” Ha and let’s not forget, can’t pharmacists deny giving a woman contraception if it is against his/her moral beliefs? So if I were a teen interested in sex in this environment- the chances that I would protect myself are slim to none. Versus if I was a teen in Europe where discussing sex wasn’t so taboo, where it wasn’t so mysterious, where it was easy and acceptable to get contraception- just maybe- I would be less likely to “explore the unknown” (cause it’s not so unknown) or if I choose to “go all the way” I’d be far more likely to protect myself.
Of course there are also other issues that one must take into account; like the environment of peer pressure and one’s self value to be able to say “no” or “yes” or “maybe later” in addition to comprehensive sexuality and contraception availability and perhaps those other issues are more influenced by diet- as in maybe an obese child might not have the highest self value to say no. But in general, I’d say our hostile anti-sex environment in the US might be more to blame for high rates of teen preg then diet.
This entry was in no way meant to be a comprehensive look at teen pregnancy, in which there are seemingly infinite factors.
And thanks for busting me on the undeveloped countries comment. That was a mistake. Most undeveloped countries do have very high teen pregnancy rates, although data on that is much more difficult to find.
The main purpose of this post was to point out that the average age of first menstruation for girls in the U.S. has dropped by 5 years. This is of enormous significance. If the average age of menarche used to be 17, and girls at this age couldn’t physically give birth until at least one year later at age 18, then this is obviously a primary factor to consider at the core level of teen pregnancy.
I also say that the main reason for this decline in age of menarche is due to hormonal imbalances. And although processed and fast food are important factors as far as severity is concerned, the key underlying cause of this process is “overconsumption of carbohydrate foods.” Thus a diet of primarily legumes, rice, fruits, and vegetables — all primarily carbohydrate foods, will cause the same problems (I assume meat consumption there, proportionally-speaking, is quite low). The freshness and wholeness of those foods as opposed to the newfangled versions of Americana makes the process go about much more slowly and not manifest with such severity (i.e. — it becoming very common in the U.S. for 7 and 8 year old girls to be having periods, developing type II diabetes, obesity, etc.).
But a diet of the freshest, purest, most organic-est starches, legumes, fruits, and grains without sufficient complementary animal foods has been shown, exhaustively, to cause poor health — often beginning with digestive, dental, and respiratory disturbances and progressing (especially if the initial illnesses are suppressed with meds), to the point of chronic illnesses of all kinds.
To understand how and why such a claim is factual, I recommend the works of Robert McCarrison C.I.E., M.A., M.D., D. Sc., LL.D., F.R.C.P., a doctor who treated patients in India more or less before processed food existed, and came to the conclusion that “a diet disproportionally rich in starch” is the root cause of nearly all illness. His work is obtainable via interlibrary loan from the Library of Congress.
Gary Taubes’ new book (referenced in this post), one of the most thoroughly researched works on any topic, is also a great resource.
Read William Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet. Juliet was 13. Her mother had her when she was 12.
Read John Yudkin’s Sweet and Dangerous. You’ll see that this theory is not a joke.
I am so glad to see that I am not the only one convinced that issues in our society typically blamed on anything from the poor to the media is actually influenced heavily by nutrition. Excellent article.
I have really enjoyed reading your posts here, but would like to subscribe through an RSS feed and cannot find your feed, could you direct me to it?
I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?