Washington: A sharp spike in childhood obesity may more than damage overall health -- it could be disrupting the onset of puberty and erode the ability to reproduce, especially in females, according to a study.Human bodies may be scrambling to adjust to a problem that is fairly new. For thousands of years of evolution, poor nutrition or starvation were a greater concern, rather than an overabundance of food."The issue of so many humans being obese is very recent in evolutionary terms, and since nutritional status is important to reproduction, metabolic syndromes caused by obesity may profoundly affect reproductive capacity," Patrick Chappell, assistant professor of veterinary medicine at Oregon State University and study author, was quoted as saying in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.Researchers are still learning more about the overall impact of obesity on the beginning of puberty and effects on the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, Chappell said. In general, puberty appears to be starting earlier in girls. It is being accelerated, according to a university statement.
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