Weight at Menarche

The idea that relative fatness is important for female reproductive ability followed findings that the events of the adolescent growth spurt, particularly menarche in girls, were closely related to an average critical body weight. This result was unexpected for human beings, although it was well-known for rats and monkeys that puberty (defined by vaginal opening or, more precisely, by first estrus) was more closely related to body weight than to chronological age.

In the United States, the mean weight at menarche for girls was 47.8 ± 0.5 kg at a mean height of 158.5 ± 0.5 cm and mean age of 12.9 ± 0.1 years. This mean age included girls from Denver, who had a slightly later age of menarche than that of sea-level populations due to the slowing effect of altitude on prenatal and postnatal weight growth.

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