Total and central adiposity are associated with age at gonad
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A close link between BMI and female pubertal onset is well established. However, observations in boys remain inconclusive. Researchers aimed to determine whether BMI as well as total and central adiposity in pre-pubertal Chilean boys is associated with pubertal timing.

494 boys from the Growth and Obesity Chilean Cohort Study were followed starting from birth and throughout puberty including five pre-pubertal visits. Anthropometric data and semi-annual clinical pubertal staging. The association between BMI, obesity (BMI SDS greater than 2) and central adiposity (waist circumference ? 90th centile) with precocious puberty and age at gonadarche was analyzed using a survival- and logistic regression models.

-- BMI, prevalence of total obesity and central obesity increased throughout childhood.

-- 45 boys entered puberty before the age of 9 years (9.1%).

-- Obesity at 4 to 7 years and childhood mean BMI SDS were significantly associated with precocious gonadarche.

-- Mean age at testicular enlargement (?4mL), was 11.0 years and was inversely associated with BMI SDS, waist circumference and percent fat mass in almost all pre-pubertal visits.

-- Age at testicular enlargement in normal weight, overweight and obese boys was 11.2 (11.0-11.3), 10.9 (10.6-11.1) and 10.7 (10.4-11.1) years, respectively.

Conclusively, this observation supports the association of BMI SDS and obesity with pubertal timing and precocious gonadarche in boys, respectively. Early intervention controlling the obesity epidemic could be useful in decreasing detrimental impact on later health.