The Growing Up Female project is a collaborative program in which BCERP research examines the role genetic-level markers and social, environmental and lifestyle factors play in the timing of puberty. The researchers are specifically interested in defining how diet and/or environmental exposures affect when a girl starts puberty, how a girl’s genes and/or her social environment affect when she starts puberty and what personal and environmental factors are associated with how a girl matures through puberty.
The researchers hypothesize that the early development of obesity as a result of environmental, social, and lifestyle factors leads to early breast development and an earlier start of the menstrual cycle as well as an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
The investigators are working with participants from the greater Cincinnati area. The girls are recruited to participate in the study for a five-year period.