Contemporary Issues in Food and Nutrition for Adolescents

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Contemporary Issues in Food and Nutrition for Adolescents

The importance of establishing health promoting practices during childhood and adolescence has long been recognized by nutritionists and other health professionals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate further the issues relating to adolescents' diets and contributing factors. Contributing factors include the increase of fast food consumption, unconventional meal patterns and lack of exercise. During adolescence, the influences on eating habits are numerous. The growing independence of adolescents, increased participation in social life and a generally busy schedule of activities have a great impact on food intake.�In the September 2007 issue of 'Health Promotion International', a survey of 18,486 secondary school students at 322 schools across all Australian states (except Western Australia) has found that a significant proportion of students fall short of current, national dietary and physical activity recommendations for teenagers.

A new study suggests that as teens enter adulthood, they are more likely to skip meals, resulting in a very unconventional meal pattern. Breakfast is frequently neglected and omitted more often by teenagers as they enter high school as they see it as an unnecessary hassle. These diets are likely to be bizarre and unbalanced. Though appetite is great, meal times tend to be irregular due to pre-occupation with school, other social activities or even a part time job. Therefore snacking in between meals is common. Skipping breakfast, for example, can lead to greater levels of hunger later in the day, causing overeating, or the choosing of heavy foods that fill you up faster, but may lack nutritional values. For teenage girls, lunch is usually skipped as a way of controlling weight. As adolescents go through puberty, they are bound to feel more pressured by their peers about the shape and size of their body, sexual development, and their general appearance. Due to...
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