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June 1995

Growth in Obesity

Author Affiliations

Center for Human Growth and Development University of Michigan 300 N Ingalls Bldg 10th Floor Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0406

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(6):705. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170190115023

The massive British data of Sargent and Blanchflower1 fully confirm earlier evidence that obese individuals tend to be taller than their nonobese peers during the growing period, although not necessarily during adulthood.2,3 Indeed, the 3-cm stature superiority of the obese participants of both sexes at 14 years of age may well be approximately 6 cm if the corresponding bottom 10% of the body mass index were used for comparison.

In our experience, obese persons are not only taller during growth but developmentally advanced, as shown by earlier ages at menarche in girls and advanced bone ages in both sexes.4 They therefore grow faster and stop growing earlier, which is why obese persons are not taller as adults (actually, they are slightly shorter).5

Finally, the lower reading scores at and the lesser degree of education after 16 years of age raise more questions about the family structure

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