Good Nutrition In Adolescents

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Adolescence is one of the most challenging periods in human life (Rankin, Hanekom, Wright, MacIntyre, 2010). This period is characterised by rapid physical and cognitive growth, as well as increased hormone production. The accelerated growth which occurs in adolescents is second, only, to that in the first year of life, and this creates an increased demand for energy and nutrients (Spear, 2002). Hence, optimal nutrition is crucial to sustain normal growth and development during this period. Williams, Bollella and Wynder (1995) opined that, not just optimal nutrition, but good nutrition is important for adolescents. Good nutrition, being defined as the adequate consumption of the recommended dietary intake declared for this stage of life,…show more content…
This describes the social and cultural norms and values around the ideal body image. Though, in the non-Western region, plumpness and the larger figure is rewarded with respect as it symbolises beauty, wealth, fertility and femininity (Nasser, 1997) as well as health and strength (Davies, 1995), the Western region tends to overvalue thinness (Dolan, 1991) and “slim and curvy” as the ideal body type for females. The dissemination of the Western ideology is obviously huge, as Bodiba, Madu, Ezeokana and Nnedum, (2008) report that non-Westerners have embraced the “slim and curvy” ideology too. According to their study, overweight South African adolescents expressed not being happy and satisfied about their body mass (how they look) and they were willing to do anything to reduce their body weight. Paradoxically, Western diets in combination with increasingly sedentary lifestyle, caused by westernization, contribute to greater levels of body fat, creating a considerable gap between the ideal and actual body types for females; hence, body image…show more content…
A valid example of this is the food environment; a contributing factor to dietary patterns. Food environment is the availability, affordability, convenience, and desirability of various foods (Herforth and Ahmed, 2015). A study by Monteiro, Gomes, and Cannon (2010) reports that foods that are available, affordable, convenient, and mostly desired in Brazil, are of lower fiber and protein, high saturated fat, free sugars, high sodium and energy dense, and the outcome is a nutrition transition; lower under-nutrition and higher overweight ( Monteiro, Levya, Claroa, de Castro and Cannon, 2011). The incessant exposure to this type of food environment, thus, dietary pattern, hinders female adolescent from achieving their ideal body
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