London: Researchers have found more evidence on the links between low birth weight, early puberty and cancer.
In the study, scientists at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition in Dortmund, Germany, who followed 215 children from infancy to age 13, have shown that babies who gain weight rapidly in their first two years of life are more likely to hit puberty early, reports The Daily Express.
Early puberty has been linked to an increased risk of some cancers, including breast and testicular.
In the research, boffins found that kids who were born weighing between 5lb 8oz and 6lb 10oz started puberty seven months earlier than those born heavier.
And those who gained weight quickly as babies were four months ahead of those who had put on weight at a normal rate.
Dr Panagiota Mitrou of the World Cancer Research Fund said: “This shows that what happens to us even in the womb can influence risk factors for diseases much later in life.”