Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 15
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Krzyżanowska, Monika Mascie-Taylor, C. G. Nicholas and Thalabard, Jean-Christophe 2016. Biosocial correlates of age at menarche in a British cohort. Annals of Human Biology, Vol. 43, Issue. 3, p. 235.

    Villamor, Eduardo and Jansen, Erica C. 2016. Nutritional Determinants of the Timing of Puberty. Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 37, Issue. 1, p. 33.

    Chavarro, Jorge Gaskins, Audrey and Afeiche, Myriam 2015. Nutrition, Fertility, and Human Reproductive Function.

    Emmett, Pauline M. and Jones, Louise R. 2015. Diet, growth, and obesity development throughout childhood in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 73, Issue. suppl 3, p. 175.

    Khopkar, Sushama Kulathinal, Sangita Virtanen, Suvi M. and Säävälä, Minna 2015. Age at menarche and diet among adolescents in slums of Nashik, India. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Vol. 27, Issue. 4,

    Kwon, Mi-Kyoung Seo, Eun Min and Park, Kyong 2015. Determinants of age at menarche in Korean elementary school girls. Journal of Nutrition and Health, Vol. 48, Issue. 4, p. 344.

    Tan, Hui Shan Tan, Min-Han Chow, Khuan Yew Chay, Wen Yee and Lim, Wei-Yen 2015. Reproductive factors and lung cancer risk among women in the Singapore Breast Cancer Screening Project. Lung Cancer, Vol. 90, Issue. 3, p. 499.

    Segovia-Siapco, Gina Pribis, Peter Messina, Mark Oda, Keiji and Sabaté, Joan 2014. Is soy intake related to age at onset of menarche? A cross-sectional study among adolescents with a wide range of soy food consumption. Nutrition Journal, Vol. 13, Issue. 1,

    Yermachenko, Anna and Dvornyk, Volodymyr 2014. Nongenetic Determinants of Age at Menarche: A Systematic Review. BioMed Research International, Vol. 2014, p. 1.

    Deardorff, Julianna Berry-Millett, Rachel Rehkopf, David Luecke, Ellen Lahiff, Maureen and Abrams, Barbara 2013. Maternal Pre-pregnancy BMI, Gestational Weight Gain, and Age at Menarche in Daughters. Maternal and Child Health Journal, Vol. 17, Issue. 8, p. 1391.

    Kwok, Flora Yin-Ying Ho, Yvonne Yi-Fong Chow, Chung-Mo So, Christabella Yat-Nam and Leung, Ting-Fan 2013. Assessment of nutrient intakes of picky-eating Chinese preschoolers using a modified food frequency questionnaire. World Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 58.

    Berryhill, G. E. Gloviczki, J. M. Trott, J. F. Aimo, L. Kraft, J. Cardiff, R. D. Paul, C. T. Petrie, W. K. Lock, A. L. and Hovey, R. C. 2012. Diet-induced metabolic change induces estrogen-independent allometric mammary growth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 109, Issue. 40, p. 16294.

    Cheng, Guo Buyken, Anette E Shi, Lijie Karaolis-Danckert, Nadina Kroke, Anja Wudy, Stefan A Degen, Gisela H and Remer, Thomas 2012. Beyond overweight: nutrition as an important lifestyle factor influencing timing of puberty. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 70, Issue. 3, p. 133.

    Kim, Hui Kwon Lee, Jong Yoon Bae, Eun Ju Park, Won Il Lee, Hong Jin and Oh, Phil Soo 2012. A Clinical Study of the Relationship between Obesity and Pubertal Development in Girls. Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 175.

    Kwok, M. K. Leung, G. M. Lam, T. H. and Schooling, C. M. 2011. Early Life Infections and Onset of Puberty: Evidence From Hong Kong's Children of 1997 Birth Cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 173, Issue. 12, p. 1440.


Diet throughout childhood and age at menarche in a contemporary cohort of British girls

  • Imogen S Rogers (a1), Kate Northstone (a2), David B Dunger (a3), Ashley R Cooper (a4), Andy R Ness (a5) and Pauline M Emmett (a6)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 08 June 2010

To investigate associations between dietary intakes throughout childhood and age at menarche, a possible indicator of future risk of disease, in a contemporary cohort of British girls.


Diet was assessed by FFQ at 3 and 7 years of age, and by a 3 d unweighed food diary at 10 years. Age at menarche was categorised as before or after 12 years 8 months, a point close to the median age in this cohort.


Bristol, South-West England.


Girls (n 3298) participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.


Higher energy intakes at 10 years were positively associated with the early occurrence of menarche, but this association was removed on adjusting for body size. Total and animal protein intakes at 3 and 7 years were positively associated with age at menarche ≤12 years 8 months (adjusted OR for a 1 sd increase in protein at 7 years: 1·14 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·26)). Higher PUFA intakes at 3 and 7 years were also positively associated with early occurrence of menarche. Meat intake at 3 and 7 years was strongly positively associated with reaching menarche by 12 years 8 months (OR for menarche in the highest v. lowest category of meat consumption at 7 years: 1·75 (95 % CI 1·25, 2·44)).


These data suggest that higher intakes of protein and meat in early to mid-childhood may lead to earlier menarche. This may have implications for the lifetime risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Diet throughout childhood and age at menarche in a contemporary cohort of British girls
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Diet throughout childhood and age at menarche in a contemporary cohort of British girls
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Diet throughout childhood and age at menarche in a contemporary cohort of British girls
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.Y-T Gao , X-O Shu , Q Dai (2000) Associations of menstrual and reproductive factors with breast cancer risk: results from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study. Int J Cancer 87, 295300.

2.CC Hsieh , D Trichopoulos , K Katsouyanni (1990) Age at menarche, age at menopause, height and obesity as risk factors for breast cancer: associations and interactions in an international case–control study. Int J Cancer 46, 796800.

3.G Kvale & I Heuch (1988) Menstrual factors and breast cancer risk. Cancer 62, 16251631.

4.A Tavani , S Gallus , C La Vecchia (2001) Risk factors for breast cancer in women under 40 years. Eur J Cancer 35, 13611367.

5.L Butler , N Potischman , B Newman (2000) Menstrual risk factors and early onset breast cancer. Cancer Causes Control 11, 451458.

6.G Cooper , S Ephross , C Weinberg (1998) Menstrual and reproductive factors for ischaemic heart disease. Epidemiology 10, 255259.

7.K Fox , J Magaziner , R Sherwin (1993) Reproductive correlates of bone mass in elderly women. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. J Bone Miner Res 8, 901908.

8.S Dreizen , C Spirakis & R Stone (1967) A comparison of skeletal growth and maturation in undernourished and well-nourished girls before and after menarche. J Pediatr 70, 256263.

11.C Koprowski , R Ross , W Mack (1999) Diet, body size and menarche in a multiethnic cohort. Br J Cancer 79, 19071911.

12.E Petridou , E Syrigou , N Toupadaki (1996) Determinants of age at menarche as early life predictors of breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer 68, 193198.

16.C Longcope , S Gorbach , B Goldin (1987) The effect of a low fat diet on estrogen metabolism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 64, 12461250.

17.B Goldin , H Adkercreutz , S Gorbach (1982) Estrogen excretion patterns and plasma levels in vegetarian and omnivorous women. N Engl J Med 307, 15421547.

18.H Adlercreutz , K Höckerstedt , C Bannwart (1987) Effect of dietary components, including lignans and phytoestrogens, on enterohepatic circulation and liver metabolism of estrogens and on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). J Steroid Biochem 27, 11351144.

19.R Hughes (1985) Intake of dietary fibre and the age of menarche. Ann Hum Biol 12, 325332.

20.J Lubin , P Burns , W Blot (1981) Dietary factors and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer 28, 685689.

21.J Britton , MS Wolff , R Lapinski (2004) Characteristics of pubertal development in a multi-ethnic population of nine-year-old girls. Ann Epidemiol 14, 179187.

22.F Soriguer , S Gonzalez-Romero , I Esteva (1995) Does the intake of nuts and seeds alter the appearance of menarche? Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 74, 455461.

23.D Sloboda , R Hart , D Doherty (2007) Age at menarche: influences of prenatal and postnatal growth. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 92, 4650.

24.I Dos Santos Silva , B De Stavola , V Mann (2002) Prenatal factors, childhood growth trajectories and age at menarche. Int J Epidemiol 31, 405412.

25.J Golding , M Pembrey , R Jones (2001) ALSPAC – The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children I. Study methodology. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 15, 7487.

26.GM Price , AA Paul , FB Key (1995) Measurement of diet in a large national survey: comparison of computerised and manual coding of records in household measures. J Hum Nutr Diet 8, 417428.

37.W Willett & M Stampfer (1998) Implications of total energy intake for epidemiological analysis. In Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed., pp. 273297 [W Willett, editor]. New York: Oxford University Press.

41.I Cowin , A Emond , P Emmett (2001) Association between composition of the diet and haemoglobin and ferritin levels in 18-month-old children. Eur J Clin Nutr 55, 278286.

43.CS Berkey , J Gardner , AL Frazier (2000) Relation of childhood diet and body size to menarche and adolescent growth in girls. Am J Epidemiol 152, 446452.

45.A Sanchez , D Kissinger & R Phillips (1981) A hypothesis on the etiological role of diet in menarche. Med Hypotheses 7, 13391345.

46.D Kissinger & A Sanchez (1987) The association of dietary factors with the age at menarche. Nutr Res 7, 471479.

47.S-Y Ku , J Kang , H Kim (2006) Age at menarche and its influencing factors in North Korean female refugees. Hum Reprod 21, 833836.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *