There is a close relationship between obesity and precocious puberty. Chinese researchers have found that abdominal obesity significantly increases the risk of precocious puberty in children.
Researchers from Shanghai Jiaotong University’s School of Public Health and other institutions analyzed the data of nearly 18000 12-year-olds, and collected their weight, waist circumference to height ratio and some physiological indicators of precocious puberty by physical examination. Boys and girls with waistline to height ratios greater than 0.48 and 0.46, respectively, are considered to be abdominal obesity. The results showed that the proportions of obesity and abdominal obesity were 25.98% and 38.58% in precocious boys, and 13.86% and 29.42% in precocious girls, respectively. Therefore, there was a closer relationship between abdominal obesity and precocious puberty. In addition to physical stress, obese children are also more likely to face psychological stress, the researchers said.
Although the mechanism of obesity-induced precocious puberty has not yet been clarified, experts have called for the inclusion of precocious puberty and mental health in school curricula, and for more attention to be given to obese children. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.