A study published in this month’s Pediatrics shows that increased body fat in young girls is associated with earlier onset of puberty. 354 girls were followed from 36 months through 6th grade and assessed for pubertal development. It seems a child’s body mass index (BMI) at 36 months and its rate of change between 36 months and first grade seem to be consistently associated with early puberty.
Early puberty is associated with a variety of psychosocial problems including the early initiation of alcohol use and sexual activity. Feel free to add this to the growing list of problems facing our overweight kids.