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Soc Sci Med. 1982;16(2):191-6.

The changes with age of the anatomical distribution of fat.


During adolescence and the third decade of life a redistribution of bodily fat is occurring away from the extremities towards the trunk. During this time the process is occurring in both sexes although more rapidly in males than females, hence it is a masculinizing process. The process is seen in human populations from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Masculinizing characteristics like this one are predictors of chronic diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis late in life. The period from adolescence through young adulthood may be a sensitive time for the development of characteristics that predispose one to the chronic diseases of aging. Socioanthropological investigations of chronic disease related to human obesity may benefit by focusing on this developmental period.

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