Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

School

School of Health Professions

First Advisor

Winston Craig

Abstract

Problem. Over the past century, the age of menarche has consistently declined in the United States and globally. Obesity has also increased by 82% globally over the past 20 years. Obesity, as measured by BMI percentiles in children, may contribute to the declining age of menarche. -- Method. Adolescent girls ages 12-19 were examined in California and Michigan. Physical development and the age of menarche were assessed through an online questionnaire. Height and weight measurements were taken at a clinic and converted to BMI percentile values. -- Results. A negative correlation was observed between BMI percentile values and the age of menarche in the participants. For every increase in BMI percentile, menarche was attained 3 days earlier. -- Conclusion. Obesity may play a role in the early attainment of menarche, as measured by BMI percentile values. Females with higher percentile values may attain menarche earlier than females with lower values.

Subject Area

Menarche., Body mass index., Obesity., Teenage girls--California--Research., Teenage girls--Michigan--Research.

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