Top-Rated Free Essay

Teen Diet and Nutrition

Better Essays
Topics: Nutrition
Teen Diet and Nutrition Nutrition is important for everyone. The bottom line is, nutrition provides our bodies with energy to function. Nutrition makes major parts of the human body function and work properly, such as the brain and muscles. Nutrition also helps the body be more coordinated. Good nutrition contributes to everything that human beings do; the human body cannot function without it, and would not run well without good nutrition. Nutrition is vital for everyone but it is especially crucial for teenagers. Nutrition is especially important for teenagers because the teenage years are a critical growth period for boys and girls as they are becoming more adult like. During the teenage years, the person’s body is growing significantly and changing. The body change in many aspects and the spectrum of changes are large. From bone growth to hormonal changes the body changes in many ways. Good nutrition can help teenagers in two major aspects: Achieve optimal growth and reduce the risk of developing chronic disease such as diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Developing Healthy Dietary Patterns Most Teenagers know they should eat healthy yet when it comes down to implementing this knowledge there is no action. Many teens do not know where to begin or how much of what types of food they should consume. Health Canada is the federal government of Canada that is responsible for helping Canadian citizens maintain and improve their health. In order to carry this out and make information accessible to many people, Health Canada created The Canadian Food Guide. Canada’s Food Guide defines healthy eating and helps Canadians consume the healthy components of food that is best for the body. The Food Guide translates the science of nutrition and health into healthy eating patterns. By following Canada’s Food Guide, people will be able to meet their nutritional needs and reduce the risk of obesity and other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis. By following the Food Guide many will obtain knowledge of good nutrition to feed and fuel their bodies and help them cross the bridge from knowledge to action. The guide indicates what amount of food people need and what type of food is needed in order to obtain the nutrients that the human body needs to function efficiently. The guide describes how many food guide servings you need from each of the four groups on a daily basis. The four food groups are vegetables and fruits, grain products, milk and milk alternatives and lastly meat and meat alternatives.

Having the amount and type of food recommended and following the tips in Canada’s Food Guide will help:  Meet your need for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients  Reduce the risk of obesity and other health conditions/diseases  Contribute to your overall well-being, health and vitality The Canadian Food Guide is broken up into six categories’ and within each category is the recommended amount and type of food needed for optimal health. Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta 6-11 servings These foods are a part of the grain product group. They provide complex carbohydrates, which are important sources of energy; these foods also provide vitamin B, minerals and fiber. Fruits 3 servings Fruits are rich sources of vitamins, most commonly vitamin C. They are also low in fat and calories. To receive the most amounts of nutrients from fruits it is best to avoid processed fruit with heavy syrups and sugar-sweetened juices. The best choice to obtain the maximum amount of nutrients is to select fresh fruits and fruit juices and frozen, canned or dried fruits. Vegetables 3-5 servings Vegetables provide vitamins (especially A and C) and are excellent sources of fiber and they are naturally low in fat. To obtain the maximum amount of nutrients, it is best to select dark leafy greens, deep-yellow or orange vegetables and starchy vegetables like patties and yams. Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese 2-4 servings Milk, yogurt and cheese are a part of the milk and alternatives group. Milk products are the richest sources of calcium and they also provide proteins and vitamins B12.

Meat, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts 2-3 servings Meats, beans, eggs and nuts are a part of the meat and alternative group. Animals (meat) are the main sources of proteins, iron, zinc and vitamin B. Beans, nuts, and seeds are an alternative to obtaining proteins, iron, zinc and vitamin B without the consumption of meats. Tofu (made from soybeans) and white beans also supply calcium. Some seeds, like almonds, are good sources of vitamin E. Fats, Oils and Sweets It is recommend to use fats, oils and sweets sparingly. These foods provide calories, but little other nutritional benefits. Exceptions are vegetable oil, which is a rich source of vitamin E and molasses, is an excellent source of iron. Following the Canadian Food Guide can have many benefits such as:     Overall better health More Energy Lower risk of disease Body becomes stronger (example: stronger muscles and bones)

Nutrition for Teens Good nutrition can stabilize a teenager’s energy, sharpen their minds and even help even out their moods. However, eating healthy can be tough. Many adults find it difficult to eating healthy and consuming good nutrition difficult and it can be even more challenging for a teenager. After all, many teens are busier with things such as education (schooling), part-time jobs and various other activities such as sports. Eating well-balanced and healthy meals is not always high on the priority list. For many teens nutrition consists of what can be eaten quickly or in the car, shuttling from various activities. Often time’s teenagers will go for meals, snacks, or food that will quickly satisfy their hunger and provide a quick amount of energy. The problem with this however is that these kinds of food most of the time provide little nutritional benefits and although they provide energy, the energy does not last long. This can cause ill effects on the body. While the effects many not show up now, eventually poor eating patterns will catch up with the person. In fact, many teens show the effects of poor eating patterns now, even though they may not know it.

The Effects of Poor Teen Nutrition Between the ages 13 to 19, teenagers grow rapidly and have some special nutritional needs. This means that specific nutrients are especially important during the teenage years. Health Canada places emphasis on the fact that teens should be following the guidelines outlined in the Canadian Food Guide. For example, the Canadian Food Guide outlines the kinds of food a person should be consuming in order to receive a good amount of iron and calcium. Iron and calcium are extremely important because these nutrients play a role in teen development. Lack of iron can lead to anemia and sluggish (lacking energy, alertness) feeling throughout the day. This negatively affects alertness at school, work and even during other activities such as sports. Calcium is important as well especially for future health. The teen years are ideal for building bone mass with the help of calcium. Brittle bones can cause problems in the future such as osteoporosis and other health problems that result from lack of calcium during the teenage years. The effects of regularly consuming junk food such as fast foods, chips, soda etc. are the following:      Increased risk of heart disease Risk of becoming obese now or later on in life Some cancers that are related to excess fat and sugar intake Greater chance of diabetes later in life Increased tendency towards hypertension (high blood pressure)

Sources of Nutrients There are many sources of proper nutrients available to teenagers. Abundant amount of information is available through the Internet, magazines and television. A large amount of these proper nutrients can be found through the Canadian Food Guide. For instance, eating fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and dark green vegetables are good sources of iron including certain meats. All of these are listed on the Food Guide along with the amount and type of food for an adequate amount of nutrition.

The issue however lies in the fact that many teenagers do not pay much attention to the Canadian Food Guide. Many teenagers are missing nutrients needed for optimal health and opportunity for their bodies to perform to the best of their abilities. The Experiment The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether the teenagers/students attending the high school Kings Christian Collegiate have good dietary patterns and follow the recommended food intake of the Food Guide. Materials The materials used to conduct this experiment were surveys with a series of questions asking the person what their dietary patterns were. Listed below is the survey used in conducting the experiment. Diet, Nutrition and Eating Behaviour Survey 1. Are you male or female? Yes No

2. Your meals are usually?    Home-cooked with protein, vegetables and grain products Take-out Microwave Meal

3. How often do you eat fruits and vegetables?     Regularly Occasionally Hardly Not at all/never

4. How often do you eat whole grain products?    On a daily basis Occasionally Hardly



Not at all/never

5. How often do you consume meat?     Everyday Occasionally Hardly Never

6. Of the meat that you do consume is it mostly:    Red Meat (Beef) Lean Meat (Chicken) Fish

7. Do you often consume meat alternatives (beans, tofu, eggs etc.)? Yes No

8. How often do you have milk or milk products?     Daily Weekly Occasionally Never

9. Out of the 4 Canadian Food Groups what do you mostly consume?     Meat/meat alternatives Vegetables and Fruits Grain Products Milk/Milk Products

10. Do you often eat salty food? Yes No

11. Do you often consume oily or sweet food? Yes No

12. How many servings of calcium rich food do you consume? (Milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium fortified juices or cereals)      Hardly or Occasionally 1 serving 2 to 3 servings 3 to 4 servings Never

13. Do you often consume rich in Iron? (Legumes/beans, vegetables such as spinach, kale, or collards) Yes No

14. Do you regularly skip meals? Yes No

15. If you regularly skip meals the meal you tend to skip the most is:    Breakfast Lunch Dinner

16. When you/ if you regularly skip meals do you tend to feel more hungry and feel as though you lack energy? Yes No

17. Do you often consume snacks throughout the day? Yes No

18. What do you snacks mostly consist of? (Write answer in the blank space provided)

Methodology The findings were obtained through the surveys. In ordering the proposals, surveys were handed out to 50 students. It was then split up into males and females and female students filled out 25 surveys and male students filled out 25 surveys. Safety In order to ensure safety of those involved in the experiment the survey was conducted on school ground during school hours. The survey was not taken outside of the school premises and only those attending the high school Kings Christian Collegiate participated in the experiment.

Observations Surveys regarding diet, nutrition and eating patterns were commissioned to fifty students that attend Kings Christian Collegiate. Of the fifty surveys that were handed out to the participants it was separated into male and female. Twenty-five females completed a set of surveys and twenty-five males completed a set of surveys. The results were examined and the results obtained showed that 16 out of 25 males were following the recommended food intake of the Canadian Food Guide and 19 out of 25 females were exhibited good dietary patterns and were following the recommended food intake outlined by the Canadian Food Guide. Number of Surveys Issued 25 Gender: Male 16 males exhibit dietary patterns Gender: Female good 19 females exhibit good dietary patterns

Analysis Sources of Error The possible sources of error lie in the vary survey given to participants. The findings obtained were considered and in examining the results, it was acknowledged that the results could be inaccurate. It is highly possible that some of the students participating in the experiment could have been dishonest about their answers while completing the survey. Discussion The results obtained from the female students that had participated in the experiment indicate that the percentage of the female student body at Kings Christian Collegiate is health conscious. Seventy-six percent of the females that participated in the experiment exhibited eating patterns that followed the tips outlined in the Canadian Food Guide. The results obtained from the male students that had participated in the experiment indicated that the percentage of the male student body attending Kings

Christian Collegiate is less health conscious than the females attending the school. Sixtyfour percent of the males that had participated in the experiment did not follow eating patterns that followed the tips outlined in the Canadian Food Guide. These results show that in general the females attending the school are healthier than the males. Of course it is taken into account that not every student attending the high school was surveyed while conducting the experiment. Of the people that were surveyed it was shown that females tended to consume more fruits (particularly as snacks) dairy and grain products. Males tended to consume more meat as a part of their meals during the week and less vegetables and fruits. Practical application

Taking this information it can be applied to already existing eating patterns. For example, the males tended to consume more meat on a weekly basis and less vegetables and fruits. Males can start the practice of consuming less meat on a daily basis and have it 2-3 times a week. Males can also incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    Teen Nutrition

    • 347 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The teenage years include times of rapid growth and development, both physically and mentally. Good nutrition during these times helps ensure teens have the building blocks to support their needs. It also involves avoiding excessive food intake that can lead to immediate and future health problems. A dietitian or health care provider can give teens nutritional advice specific to their particular situation. 35% percent of Canadian boys and 29% of Canadian girls weigh more than they should. And 17…

    • 347 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Diet, Nutrition, and Health Rachael Yarberry Grand Canyon University: BIO 319 July 6, 2014 There are many things that are similar between the terms health and nutrition. Health is an all-encompassing term, which includes nutrition. Part of being healthy is proper nutrition; without proper nutrition, the effects can be detrimental. The body can heal itself from many different illnesses and restore health, and good nutrition is needed for this. Nutrition, however, is a branch of health. “There…

    • 454 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    University of Delaware Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition NTDT 200 Nutrition Concepts Section 10 Fall 2013 Instructor: Diane Oliver, MPH, RD, LDN E-mail: doliver@udel.edu (E-mail is the best way to reach me) Office Hours: by appointment Undergraduate Teaching Assistants: Jessica D’Angelo Email: jessicad@udel.edu Credits: 3 Credits Meeting Times: Tuesday and Thursday 2 pm to 3:15 p.m. Location: 319 Willard Hall Teaching Methods: Lecture and Discussion Textbook:…

    • 1040 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    HW220-Final Project HW220: Contemporary Diet and Nutrition KAPLAN UNIVERSITY Prof Shantelle Weichers: Contemporary Diet and Nutrition HW220 5/22/2012 Introduction Unit 1 Dietary Trends and Nutrition Information to Remember Defining Diet and Nutrition Eating Patterns and Habits of Americans Nationwide Food Consumption Nutritional Principals and Standards Basic Food Groups Guidelines for Healthy Eating Relationship between Nutrition and Human Health Nutritional Status…

    • 4335 Words
    • 18 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Nutrition Diet Analysis

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Quitno 1 Crisel Joy Quinto Nutrition 313: Contemporary Nutrition Kelly Lane November 26, 2014 Diet Analysis Based on a 24 Hour Recall of my diet, results using NutriCalc Plus report that my food intake lacked a healthy balance of all food groups. My Grain intake reached only 60% of the My Plate daily recommendations. My Vegetable intake was a mere 50% of the recommended servings. Additionally, I consumed 84% of the daily recommendations for the Dairy Group. Nonetheless, I did exceed the recommendations…

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    1. What type of diet does a vegetarian follow? What different types of vegetarian diets are there, and what do individuals consume or not consume when following them? Vegetarian’s don’t eat, “meat (including fowl) or seafood or products that contain them”. The three types of vegetarians are, lacto-ovo, which are ” based on grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy and eggs”. Then there is lacto, “ which excludes eggs as well as meat, fish and fowl”. The last types is vegan, which…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Living Healthy with a Balanced Diet A Balanced diet is a wholesome meal that essentially contains all of the basic ingredients needed for sustenance of a healthy life in appropriate amounts. These basic ingredients include Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. In other terms it is means eating a variety of foods in correct proportions and drinking enough fluids to achieve and maintain weight that is in accordance with the Body Mass Index. Food groups are broadly classified…

    • 1128 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    A healthy diet can help you look and feel great. Don't follow the latest food fad: find out the truth about eating well. Your body needs energy and nutrients from food to grow and work properly. If you don't eat a healthy, balanced diet, you could be putting your health and growth at risk. A healthy diet also gives you the energy you need and can help you look and feel great. But eating well doesn't have to mean giving up all your favourite foods. A healthy diet means eating a wide range of foods…

    • 978 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Quiz - Midday Thursday – Midnight Friday Nutrition = study components of food Food choices has the ability to influence our genetics, weight, mental health, digestion, mood, sleep patterns, immunity, concentration and interaction. Live to eat vs Eat to Live Food art, celebrities chefs and books releasing home wear, tv channels Embracing food in new ways Health – state of being in absence of absence of disease – more holistic than this Sleep, anger management, Fight/Flight – Digestion doesn’t…

    • 11516 Words
    • 68 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Why Teens Shouldn't Diet

    • 2121 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Why Teens Shouldn't Diet Dieting can be defined as restricting calories or food groups (Deal with Diets: kidshealth.org). With the number of obese people growing, it's no wonder that people are starting to diet, and "in 1988, Americans spent 32 billion dollars on diets and diet products (Baird: Women's Health Fact Sheet)." A problem arises when teens start restricting their food, because dieting can be very harmful to a teenager's still-developing body. It can also be harmful to the teen's psychological…

    • 2121 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays