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December 6, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(23):1947-1948. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820490021007

A great deal of skepticism concerning endocrine therapy of the adiposogenital dystrophies has arisen because of extravagant claims and ill defined indications. This has led to the treatment of patients who did not present true endocrinopathies1 and the use of endocrine products which are now known to be ineffective.2

Many children with small genitalia are unjustly labeled "pituitary type," Fröhlich's syndrome or adiposogenital dystrophy. We must not overlook the fact that the most common cause of obesity is overeating.3 We must realize that pronounced obesity in itself may conceal the actual size of the genitalia so that a false impression may result unless careful examination is carried out. We must also consider the limits of normal; that small genitalia in the prepuberal period may signify simply a physiologic retardation or delay in development, possibly at the expense of rapid growth (which is common in many of these