Adolescence is a Crucial Time for Optimum Nutrition

Ensuring a healthy future for your teenager is no easy task. Many teens have poor diets, consuming soda, junk food, and unhealthy snacks. Some teenagers may limit their food intake to an unhealthy intake level in an attempt to stay or become thin. Even a teenager who seems to be have a relatively healthy diet may lack certain crucial nutrients.

Guidelines set forth by the FDA for nutrient intake levels are based on an amount that is meant to keep the “average adult” from developing a deficiency in that nutrient. Not only is this not optimum for the very best health we can achieve, it also doesn’t reflect the needs of a teenager undergoing so many physiological changes.

In a recent article printed in the Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition journal, the authors explain that calcium needs are increased in adolescents due to extreme bone and muscle development as well as hormonal changes. This puts them at risk of developing deficiencies that can lead to poor bone health later in life. Once we are around 30 years old, we’ve already built up the bone stores that we will then use for the remainder of our lives. Therefore, building these levels up through optimum calcium intake early in life can help prevent and slow bone loss.

A doctor of chiropractic can evaluate your teen’s overall health, bone health, diet, and lifestyle to form a treatment plan designed to optimize your teen’s health now and for the future.

Mesias M, Seiquer I, Navarro MP. Calcium nutrition in adolescence. Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition.  2011 Mar;51(3):195-209.