Height and Weight at Menarche and a Hypothesis of Critical Body Weights and Adolescent Events

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Science  24 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3943, pp. 397-399
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3943.397


Height and weight at menarche were found for each subject in three longitudinal growth studies. Early and late maturing girls have menarche at the same mean weight, but late maturers are taller at menarche. Two other major events of adolescence, initiation of the weight growth spurt and maximum rate of weight gain, also occur at an invariant mean weight. The hypothesis is proposed that a critical body weight may trigger each of these adolescent events. Such an interaction would explain the secular trend to an earlier menarche.

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