As more children are diagnosed with obesity, medical experts are questioning if this national trend could be leading to early onset puberty.
A study recently published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology suggests that childhood obesity may accelerate puberty in girls. Early puberty may have long-term consequences, such as impairing fertility.
The authors hypothesize that the secretion of the neurohormone kisspeptin may be affected by obesity, thus disrupting other reproductive endocrine signaling.
Another theory is that obesity disrupts the body’s circadian clock, which could alter the secretion of important reproductive hormones such as cortisol, testosterone and insulin.