High BMI associated with late onset of puberty in boys

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Since the 1960s the instance of obesity in American girls and boys has nearly tripled. Many scientists are worried about the relationship between obesity and proper development in children and adolescents. A variety of studies have examined the association between early onset of puberty in girls and obesity. However, a new study reported online in the Feb. 1 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine has found an association between high BMI and puberty in boys. Contrary to what is found in girls, boys with a higher BMI are found to have a later onset of puberty. Specifically, the longitudinal study examined a sample of boys at 11.5 years old and found that boys with the highest body mass index were 165% more likely to be prepubertal. According to Joyce M. Lee, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan, and colleagues, “This longitudinal study provides further evidence that higher BMI during early and middle childhood is not associated with earlier pubertal onset in boys, contrary to what is seen in girls… in fact, higher BMI in earlier childhood may be associated with and precede later onset of puberty among a population-based sample of U.S. boys.” Click here to read an article from Endocrine Today that discusses this study more.

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