What are the most important nutritional issues for adolescents?
The very rapid growth during puberty, determine the demand for nutrients during this period. This is the age of 11-15 years for girls and 13-16 for boys. This process varies greatly from person to person, while differentiating the needs of every teenager in nutrients. In addition, food intake can vary from one day to another, so if a day is very poor or much more than the required, may be offset by the amount of food to be eaten the next day. During this stage of life, it is quite possible to exist in insufficient quantities, to feed the child, some nutrients such as iron and calcium. Iron deficiency anemia occurs frequently in adolescents (see paragraph 1.2.6). In conclusion, the diet during adolescence should include more foods high in iron, such as pure meat, as well as beans, dark green vegetables, nuts, cereals fortified with iron other types of grain. In addition, 45% of the adult skeleton is formed during puberty and all the calcium needed for building skeletal mass is derived from the diet. The beginning of puberty is a critical time for the storage of calcium in the bone this time is between the ages of 10 and 14 years for girls and from 12 to 16 boys. It should also be noted that the absorption of calcium is about 30%, and should provide adequate amounts through diet in order to build the most robust bone. This is important for reducing the risk of osteoporosis in adulthood. Consuming several servings of dairy daily, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, we strengthen the achieve of the recommended intake of calcium. Together with calcium there should be provided in sufficient quantities both vitamin D and phosphorus, for the bone building, but also to enhance the physical activity.