Healthy Living

Obesity Hastens Puberty In Boys, Study Reveals

Medical professionals have already determined that women reach puberty faster when they are obese. Recent studies confirmed that the same condition is also true among males.

According to lead researcher Maria Veronica Mericq, M.D., studies about puberty in males are controversial. Thus, she and her team from the University of Santiago examined 527 boys in Chile to determine whether obesity also hastens puberty among males like in females. They also conducted the study for the purpose of establishing a paper that helps find substantial evidence about the causes of increased childhood obesity in male kids worldwide. They discovered that the boys who had excess belly fat reached puberty sooner, reported Earth.com.

They used data from Chile’s Growth and Obesity Cohort Study that was initially conducted by the Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de Los Alimentos. Apart from examining the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the boys, the researchers also considered waistline circumference, height and signs of puberty to determine the level of obesity and its effects boys in their early adolescence. The results indicated that nine percent of the boys who were obese experienced puberty as early as nine years old.

Dr. Mericq’s team also determined that the prevalence of total obesity increased as the boys grew older. The research team found that 22 percent of the obese boys aged six to seven years old had a higher risk of developing puberty earlier, too. Subsequently, 28 percent of those aged 11 already experienced onset adolescence. However, the rates decreased to 11.8 percent when they reached 17 years old, according to a report by Medical Xpress.

The results also pointed out that 45 of the boys experienced precocious puberty. As per Genetics Home Reference of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this condition is what causes early sexual development. They also considered the number of boys from those with total and central obesity and concluded that they experienced puberty sooner than those with healthier weights.

Dr. Mericq also pointed out that apart from obesity among boys, early puberty also increases the risk of getting testicular cancer once they reach adulthood. She also suggested that controlling childhood obesity prevents the children’s susceptibility to severe health conditions.

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