Nutrition During Adolescence

The phenomenal growth that occurs in adolescence, second only to that in the first year of life, creates increased demands for energy and nutrients. 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. Nutrition is also important during this time to help prevent adult diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. Prior to puberty, nutrient needs are similar for boys and girls. It is during puberty that body composition and biologic changes (e.g., menarche) emerge which affect gender-specific nutrient needs. Nutrient needs for both males and females increase sharply during adolescence. Nutrient needs parallel the rate of growth, with the greatest nutrient demands occurring during the peak velocity of growth. At the peak of the adolescent growth spurt, the nutritional requirements may be twice as high as those of the remaining period of adolescence.

  • Growth Spurt
  • Physical, Physiological and Psychological Changes
  • Recommended Nutrient Allowances
  • Change in Eating Habits
  • Nutrition Related Problems

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