Research carried out at Cambridge University suggests that women who have their first periods early (before 11) are more likely to have children with weight problems.
Also, mothers who had their first periods before 11 are five times more likely to be obese than those whose periods started after age 15. And the children of "early puberty" mothers are three times more likely to be overweight than children whose mothers had their first period later.
The researchers found that rapid growth in children, early puberty and obesity tend to run in families. It is not clear whether this is due to genetics, feeding behaviours or environmental factors, according to this article. The research team plan to carry out another study that will look at avoiding overfeeding in formula-fed babies.
Not surprisingly, the lead researcher has called for breastfeeding to be encouraged. I think more mothers might choose to breastfeed if they knew that doing so could help control their children's weight in infancy and adulthood.