Weight could play role in girls' early puberty

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Girls are reaching puberty earlier than ever, and weight appears to play a larger role than race and ethnicity.

That's according to a new study out Monday in the Journal Pediatrics.

The study found 14 percent of instances of early puberty appeared to be linked to obesity.

African American girls reportedly had the earliest average onset at around 8-years old.

Researchers say the news is troubling because it puts them at greater risk of cancer and high blood pressure.

Still, the study does not prove cause and effect, just an association.