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Fat Thickness and Developmental Status in Childhood and Adolescence

STANLEY M. GARN, Ph.D.; JOAN A. HASKELL, B.A.
AMA Am J Dis Child. 1960;99(6):746-751. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.02070030748008.
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What is the relationship between the degree of fatness, and size and maturity status during the growing period? If fatness and growth progress are correlated, is the relationship straight-line, or is there a point beyond which increased fatness is no longer associated with greater size and advanced maturity?

Logically, one would expect fatter Children to be both taller and developmentally more advanced. Calories are growth-promoting. With more food, children of the same racial stock are taller in the United States than in their homelands.1,2 American boys and girls from economically superior homes are consistently larger in body size.3 Children in the United States mature earlier than their English cousins.4

Beyond such inferential data, however, information relating fatness to size and maturity status is hard to come by. Despite the many investigations of clinically obese children, definitive data on stature, bone age, and age at menarche as related

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