Eating habits and daily food choices during adolescence (12–21 years) have a great impact on growth and development. During this life stage, youth attain 15% to 20% of their adult height, gain 50% of their ideal adult body weight, and build up 45% of their peak skeletal mass. This rapid growth requires adequate consumption of energy (calories) and nutrients (e.g., calcium, folate). In addition, eating patterns formed during adolescence often influence dietary habits in adulthood and thus affect future risk for chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis). This entry reviews common nutrition concerns among adolescents and current dietary recommendations for healthy youth.

Nutrition Concerns

Many youth consume less than the recommended amounts of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, and key nutrients for ...

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