Early weight, early puberty
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Are kids growing up faster? There is evidence. Researchers say girls have been changing physically into teen-agers at earlier ages.
They’re not sure why. But one study indicates a link to gaining weight.
Joyce Lee of the University of Michigan examined data on girls’ heights and weights – their body mass indexes – and when puberty started. Her study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
"Girls with a higher body mass index at 36 months of age were more likely to have earlier puberty. Girls who had a higher increase in their body mass index between 36 months and first grade were also more likely to have earlier puberty." (11 seconds)
Lee says this doesn’t prove extra weight caused earlier puberty – but extra weight is bad for health anyway, so parents should help kids control it.
Learn more at www.hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I'm Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011