Adolescence also known as teenagers can be defined as the stages of the life cycle were a child develops into an adult experiencing different changes throughout their bodies. They can be divided into three stages:
Early adolescence-between the ages of 11-14
Middle adolescence- between the ages of 15-17
Later adolescence- between the ages of 18-21
During this period many different changes occur, including rapid growth and puberty (sexual maturation). Puberty may occur gradually or quickly but usually girls develop earlier then boys. Every adolescent is unique in the rate in which they grow; some may have earlier signs of maturity whilst others may have later signs. Boys often have a higher nutritional requirement then girls.
During adolescence it is also important to maintain a healthy nutrition. The need for most nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein and energy increase, along with their appetite. It is a crucial time for growing that needs a balanced diet which means fewer intakes of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
According to guidelines for adolescent nutritional service “Total nutrient needs are higher during adolescence than any other time in the lifecycle. Nutrition and physical growth are integrally related; optimal nutrition is a requisite for achieving full growth potential. Failure to consume an adequate diet at this time can result in delayed sexual maturation and can arrest or slow linear growth.”
In an adolescent diet, the increased nutritional requirements all have a role in the body to support during the pubertal and developmental processes. Here are the description of their roles during adolescence:
Energy - adolescence energy needs are influenced by their metabolic rate and activity level. There are three types of activity levels; Sedentary- very little to no physical activity each days, Moderately active- adequate amounts of physical activity but less than 2.5 hours a week and Active- vigorous amounts of...
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