Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 193-197

The relationship between body weight and dietary habits with respect to the timing of puberty among saudi children and adolescents

1 Department of Paediatrics, Ibn Sina National College, College of Medicine, King AbdulAziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, King AbdulAziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulmoein E Al-Agha
Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, King AbdulAziz University Hospital, P.O. Box 80215, Jeddah 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_41_20

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Objective: The objective is to investigate the timing of pubertal onset as determined by the development of secondary sexual characteristics in relation to body weight and dietary patterns among Saudi females. Methods: Children/adolescents visiting general and endocrinology pediatric clinics in King AbdulAziz University Hospital were invited to participate in this study. Female subjects between the ages of 5 and 20 years were included in this study, and those with syndromic disease, chronic comorbidities, endocrinopathies, organic causes of precocious puberty, positive family history of early pubertal onset, and under chronic medication were excluded from the study. Data were collected through clinical interviews with the consent of the legal guardians, and physical examinations were conducted. Results: A total of 164 females were investigated. The mean age of thelarche, adrenarche, and menarche was 10, 11.3, and 12.2 years, respectively. We found a significant correlation between higher weight standard deviation and an earlier age of both thelarche and adrenarche. In addition, daily consumption of fast foods was significantly associated with an earlier menarchal age. Consumption of nonorganic poultry was linked to early thelarche. Conclusion: Efforts should be directed to increase public and community awareness that fast food consumption, inorganic poultry, and higher body weight are important modifiable factors that lead to an earlier onset of female puberty across different parameters: breast development, adrenarche, and menstruation.

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