Nutrition During Adolescence
The transition from childhood to adulthood is called adolescence. This period (13-18 years) is characterized by rapid growth and development at all levels i.e.,
NUTRITION RELATED PROBLEMS
There is an increasing trend towards a decrease in age of menarche both in upper affluent class and rural communities making adolescent girls susceptible to anaemia. About 20-25 percent of adolescent girls suffer from anaemia irrespective of their social class. The impact is more profound in rural girls because of non-availability of healthy foods. Likes and dislikes and eating disorders also lead to anaemia.
It affects 10-20 percent of adolescent population. Lack of exercise rather than excess calorie consumption is the cause. Concern about personal appearance may make adolescents more reluctant to participate in activities like sports. Obesity may also be due to hormonal imbalance, emotional stress or family habits.
3. Acne Vulgaris
Acne is a common concern among adolescents and about 80 percent of teens experience it. Scientific studies have been unable to show a strong link between any dietary factor and acne. But adolescents are warned to avoid junk foods like nuts, chocolates, pizzas, chips, candies and ice creams assuming that planning a well balanced diet without these is possible. The main culprit of acne is over activity of sebaceous glands in the skin. Blockage in a duct in the gland can lead to infection and localized pressure resulting in an acne lesion.
4. Malnutrition due to teenage pregnancy
Teenage mothers are considered to be at high risk as maternal death and infant mortality rates are higher among them. The biological immaturity has a greater impact on pregnancy. Malnutrition sets in when the pregnant adolesent girl fails to meet the demands of not only her growth but also that of the foetus. This has a direct bearing on the outcome of pregnancy. Lactation failure is also common. Teenage mothers fail to breast feed their infants adequately resulting in high infant morbidity rate.
Good nutrition and fostering healthy eating habits during adolescence paves way for a healthy adulthood.