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Maturational timing and overweight prevalence in US adolescent girls


  • Adair, L.S.
  • Gordon-Larsen, P.


Objectives. This study examined the relation of age at menarche to overweight in US adolescent girls. Methods. Effects of age at menarche and race/ethnicity on overweight were estimated via logistic regression, after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, in a sample of 6507 Hispanic, Black, White, and Asian American girls who participated in wave 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Results. Overweight prevalence rates were significantly higher in early maturing adolescents of all racial/ethnic groups but highest (57.5%) among early maturing Black girls. Early maturation nearly doubled the odds of being overweight (body mass index at or above the 85th percentile). Conclusions. Greater public health attention should be focused on the high prevalence of overweight, particularly among minority female adolescents.

Suggested Citation

  • Adair, L.S. & Gordon-Larsen, P., 2001. "Maturational timing and overweight prevalence in US adolescent girls," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 91(4), pages 642-644.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:4:642-644_3

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    Cited by:

    1. Schott, Whitney & Aurino, Elisabetta & Penny, Mary E. & Behrman, Jere R., 2019. "The double burden of malnutrition among youth: Trajectories and inequalities in four emerging economies," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 80-91.
    2. Joseph J. Sabia & Daniel I. Rees, 2011. "Boys will be boys: are there gender differences in the effect of sexual abstinence on schooling?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 287-305, March.
    3. Markowitz, Diane L. & Cosminsky, Sheila, 2005. "Overweight and stunting in migrant Hispanic children in the USA," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 215-240, July.
    4. Joseph Sabia & Daniel Rees, 2012. "Does the number of sex partners affect educational attainment? Evidence from female respondents to the Add Health," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 89-118, January.

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