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Pediatr Ann. 1999 Feb;28(2):107-11.

Nutrition in the adolescent.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Steele Memorial Children's Research Center, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson 85724-5073, USA.

Abstract

PIP:

This article reviews the nutritional requirements of puberty and the clinical assessment of nutritional status, and discusses the nutritional risks imposed by vegetarian diets, pregnancy, and athletic involvement. Energy (calories) and protein are essential in pubertal development. Adolescent females require approximately 2200 calories/day, whereas male adolescents require 2500-3000 calories/day. Additional intake requirements include fat, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins, and fiber. The clinical assessment of nutritional status begins with obtaining a good diet history of the patient and this could be offered by the body mass index. Nutritional deficiencies and poor eating habits established during adolescence can have long-term consequences, including delayed sexual maturation, loss of final adult height, osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia, and obesity. As for vegetarian adolescents, nutritional risks include lack of iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and some essential fatty acids. In addition, substances in some grains reduce gut absorption, thus increasing mineral deficiencies. Pregnancy may also be a risk factor for poor nutrition during adolescence. A pregnant adolescent has different nutritional needs because she is still growing. Among adolescent athletes many are turning to nutritional supplements in an attempt to improve athletic performance. A balanced, varied diet provides adequate calories and nutrition to meet the needs of most adolescents. They also have greater water needs than do adult athletes. Details on adolescent health concerns are further discussed in this article.

PMID:
10036686
DOI:
10.3928/0090-4481-19990201-07
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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