The problem and its BACKGROUND
“Lifestyles have changed considerably over the years. With the hurried lifestyles of today’s families, quick and nutritional meals have become typical, and adolescents are adopting these unhealthy eating habits. Consequently, these adolescents pose greater risk to all aspects of development, including cognitive development."
Due to the demands of the rush-day-to-day living of individuals, it is now but natural for them to prefer foods offered by fast-food chains or favor instant meals than home-made foods because it takes lesser time to prepare instant meals. Nonetheless, they likely sacrifice the important nutrients they should have obtained from healthier foods.
According to the Nutrition Cognition Initiative, “continuous low nutritional intake affects factors such as motivation and attentiveness, which can have a negative effect on developmental process such as learning. Chronically undernourished children and adolescents are more prone to irritability and lack of concentration. Consequently, they attain lower scores on standardized achievement tests. Furthermore, when children are undernourished, they have more difficulty resisting infection. Thus, they are more likely to get sick, miss school and fall behind in class. Because of their lack of inadequate nutrients, they are low in energy, which can limit their physical activity, and this, in turn, affects cognitive functioning.” Eating habits as defined, refers to “what food we eat, how we eat it and why we eat it. These change over one’s lifespan and across generations.” Our food preferences differ from what we want before at a younger age to what we want now as we enter adolescence. And as we grow-up, we tend to be more concerned of our health, however, we become repulsive in changing our eating habits unless health problems makes us to do so.
As said by Nancy Clarke, editor of medical books, positive effects are for everyone who practices healthy eating habits, but it is the students who will be especially benefited from meeting the particular nutritional demands of the school day. “To excel academically, children and adults must be physically able to attend class, collaborate with their peers and focus on the tasks at hand.”
However, not all adolescents are able to practice healthy food alternatives and most are uninformed about the importance of nutrition. Therefore, it is important to educate everyone on the importance of practicing healthy lifestyle. This may not only bring positive results to the cognitive development of an individual but also to the physical growth of a person. Likewise, it is also important to address the significance of healthy habits at school and in the home.
Healthy diet has been proven to improve one’s performance in school’s social, physical, and mental arenas. “Getting adequate protein, vitamins and minerals from food can keep you taking sick days and missing out on daily lessons. This keeps your body strong and less likely to succumb to disease.” Nutrients provided by these foods allow our body and mind to become alert and more focused toward the goals we desire to achieve.
It is true that studies regarding which foods are better for brain development are still in progress, other studies claim that certain foods and diets are still better for brain development. “Just like a good diet makes you feel good in your muscles, a good brain diet does the same for your thinking.” As our brain also needs energy for it to work, it is our responsibility to choose the right foods and drinks for us to get the right chemicals and nutrients from them and for us to reap of the benefits of healthy lifestyle.
The food that we eat is what energizes our whole being. “As the chief source of energy for your body, it is important to understand that it is this energy, which nurtures us at the emotional and psychological level as well.” Hence, through healthy eating habits, our bodies are...