Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Childhood weight gain linked to puberty age

  • Comment

Children who put on weight quickly in their first few years are more likely to reach puberty at an earlier age, according to research.

Scientists found that those who gained weight quickly in the first two years of their lives started their puberty growth spurt an average of four months earlier than others.

Meanwhile, those who weighed between 2.5kg and 3kg at birth started their growth spurts around seven months earlier than heavier babies.

The research, conducted by scientists at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition in Dortmund, Germany, studied 215 boys and girls until the age of 13.

It was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), who said early puberty can carry a higher risk of developing cancers such as breast cancer and testicular cancer.

Lead researcher, Professor Anja Kroke, said: “By gaining a better understanding of why early puberty increases cancer risk, we can improve our understanding of the causes of cancer, and therefore raises the possibility of preventing future cases.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.