Biological maturation and the distribution of subcutaneous fat from adolescence into adulthood: the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study

F J van Lenthe, H C Kemper, W van Mechelen, G B Post, J W Twisk, D C Welten, J Snel

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OBJECTIVE: To analyze differences in the development of a trunk-oriented fat distribution pattern between 13 and 27 years of age in individuals who either matured rapidly or slowly in adolescence.

DESIGN: Longitudinal, observational, four annual measurements between 1977 and 1980 and additional measurements in 1985 and 1991.

SUBJECTS: 79 boys, 98 girls, health Caucasian schoolchildren, classified as rapidly, normally or slowly maturing.

MEASUREMENTS: biceps, triceps, subscapular, suprailiac skinfolds resulting in two skinfold ratios, body mass index, skeletal age, peak height velocity (for boys only), age at menarche.

RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between rapidly and slowly maturing boys and girls, based on the skeletal age or the peak height velocity. Girls with a relatively early menarche showed significant higher mean skinfold ratios between 13 and 27 years of age than girls with a relatively late menarche.

CONCLUSION: Skeletal maturation of boys and girls and peak height velocity (only measured in boys) are not associated with a trunk-oriented fat distribution pattern between 13 and 27 years of age. Only a relatively early menarche in girls seems to be associated with a trunk-oriented fat distribution pattern from adolescence into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996


  • Adipose Tissue/growth & development
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Body Composition
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Development
  • Female
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menarche
  • Netherlands
  • Skinfold Thickness

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