Why Nutrition for Adolescents Important?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Poor nutrition always starts from birth and continues till adolescence and adulthood. Chronically malnourished individuals are more likely to remain undernourished and are passed on from generations to generations. Epidemiological evidence from both developing and developed countries suggests a link between under nutrition, chronic diseases and malnutrition as a person moves towards adulthood. The best nutritionist in Delhi says that only if an adolescent is well nourished, they can make optimal use of their skills, talents, energies and can become responsible citizens and parents with healthier babies. To accomplish such a task, it is important to overcome adolescent malnutrition in the country, as their ratio goes up to 25%. 

As per the World Bank Development data, an investment in girl child education, have strong evidence to indicate that the capacity of individuals to use the information and financial resources would be higher. This in turn shapes the dietary needs, healthcare, fertility and lifestyle choices and has a powerful influence on the health of the individuals and community. 

Since adolescence is the second period for rapid growth, it serves as an opportunity to compensate for the early childhood growth failure, even though the significance is limited. Anthropometric measurements, weight, capacity and stamina are the best ways to determine the life expectancy and survival rates in them. Research says that adequate nutritional guidance during pre-pubertal growth spurt and immediately preceding menarche result in catching up from nutritional deficiencies suffered in life. This adolescent growth spurt is also associated with cognitive, hormonal, emotional and social changes. However, it is important to note that the growth spurt of the females is attained prior to males.

As per WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines (2000), an equal focus on macronutrients and micronutrients especially protein, B vitamin complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, calcium and iodine is extremely important. Due to sexual differences, the nutritional recommendations after the age of 10 differs where females require more iron content and males require higher protein. This is because the normal fat percentage during this phase reaches 23% in females and 15% in male, directly indicating that there should be an increase in the skeletal mass by 45% along with a steady increase in the bone mineral density. This in turn can be monitored by using height for age, weight for age and BMI charts. Therefore, in order to respond to the diverse needs of adolescents, different interventions are required throughout. According to the best nutritionist in Mumbai, the basic change needs to be done to combat micronutrient deficiencies and help them enhance the bioavailability of nutrients via different food mediums like fermentation, germination, steaming, air frying and baking foods. Although this needs to be done keeping in mind the behavioural based efficiency of the adolescents. 

On the contrary, when these nutritional gaps are not met, it takes the shape of recurrent infections and metabolic disorders as the adolescent grows into an adult. Poverty can be a prime indicator which strongly determines the food consumption and nutritional inadequacy. However, low cost food options like a combination of peanuts, sattu, milk can be beneficial. Overall most of the research data focuses on the correlation between a lowered intake of green leafy vegetables, pulses, milk products and fruits (below the RDA) in both the sexes. As a consequence there is a severe depreciation in energy intake resulting in decline of the essential blood parameters like Vitamin A, iron and iodine. 

Moreover, adolescent eating is also conceptualized by environmental influences like eating disorders, majorly anorexia nervosa or abuse due to peer pressure. This results in skipping meals, under-eating, unhealthy snacking, low consumption of essential nutrients as well as a disorganized intake of foods. Advertisements and media also have a major role to play as two-third of the adolescent food choices depend on the same. This leads to a higher prevalence of thinness, obesity, low/very high BMI and stunting among them putting them at a higher risk of severe malnourishment and mortality.

Therefore, it is important to address adolescent nutrition at the root level for attaining the desired results. Appropriate targets and strategies play a significant role in exchanging nutrition education and combating the risks factor for various metabolic disorders. Along with this, it is also important for the nutritionist to encourage more of physical activity in order to maintain a healthier weight. Health always begins at home, that is what the nutritionist at Qua Nutrition –the signature nutrition clinic believe and henceforth discussing self-regulation of food intake, encouraging parent-child healthy eating behaviours, as well as close monitoring of minute dietary changes, are of the utmost priority!