Objectives: This study examined the relation of age at menarche to overweight in US adolescent girls.
Methods: Effects of age at menarche and race/ethnicity on overweight were estimated via logistic regression, after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, in a sample of 6507 Hispanic, Black, White, and Asian American girls who participated in wave 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
Results: Overweight prevalence rates were significantly higher in early maturing adolescents of all racial/ethnic groups but highest (57.5%) among early maturing Black girls. Early maturation nearly doubled the odds of being overweight (body mass index at or above the 85th percentile).
Conclusions: Greater public health attention should be focused on the high prevalence of overweight, particularly among minority female adolescents.