Nutrition During Adolescence

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Donna Ricketts

Donna Ricketts is a health educator with 15 years of professional experience designing health and wellness programs for adults and children.

The nutritional value in the diet of adolescence is important for their development during puberty and preparing for adulthood. Learn more about nutrition in adolescent diets, why it is necessary, risks of poor nutritional diets and further dietary recommendations. Updated: 11/01/2021

Nutrition for Adolescents

Nutrient needs are greater during adolescence than any other time in the lifecycle. Between the ages of 12 and 18, older children will experience several growing spurts, which are associated with hormonal, intellectual, and emotional changes that can make adolescence a challenging part of life. Failure to consume an adequate diet at this time can result in delayed physical development and growth. Nutrition is also important during this time to help prevent adult diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Nutrition Needs During Adulthood

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Nutrition for Adolescents
  • 0:44 Adolescent…
  • 2:51 Dietary…
  • 4:56 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Adolescent Nutrition-Related Concerns

Nutrition-related concerns for adolescents include the over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as fruit drinks, sport drinks, low-calorie drinks, and other beverages that contain added sugars.

Among adolescents, iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs when your body doesn't have enough iron, is one of the most common diet-related deficiency diseases. This is due to their increased blood volume and muscle mass during growth and development, such as the large increase of lean body mass in adolescent boys, increased body weight, and the beginning of menstruation for girls. All these factors should be taken into account when assessing iron needs in teens.

Inadequate calcium intake is another nutrition-related concern for adolescents. Your skeleton accounts for at least 99% of your body's calcium stores and the gain in skeletal weight is most rapid during the adolescent growth spurt. Almost 50% of adult skeletal mass is formed during early adolescence, between 10 and 14 years in girls and 12 and 16 years in boys. All the calcium for the growth of the skeleton must come from the food that teens eat. So, it is important that their diet supplies a sufficient amount of calcium to help build the strongest bones possible, which is crucial for reducing the risk of osteoporosis later on in life.

Unsafe weight-loss methods and eating disorders are also nutrition-related concerns for adolescents. Being overweight or obese is a major concern for children and teens, and it is generally caused by poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity, or a combination of the two.

Dietary Recommendations for Adolescents

Nutrient requirements for both males and females increase significantly during adolescence. Prior to puberty, nutrient needs are somewhat similar for boys and girls. It is during puberty that physical and biological changes occur that affect gender-specific nutrient needs. Teens' dietary needs are based on gender, age, and activity level. Generally, teenage girls need anywhere from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day, while teenage boys range from 1,800 to 3,200 calories per day.

Adolescents need the same nutrients as younger children and adults. They should consume 50 to 60% carbohydrates, 45 to 60 grams of protein, and no more than 30% of dietary fat each day. In addition, a balanced diet consisting of foods from the five food groups should supply all the vitamins and minerals teens need.

Daily Dietary Recommendations for Adolescents:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account