Guidelines for adolescent female nutrition and implications for women's health

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nutrition during adolescence may not be adequate. Factors contributing to inadequate nutrition during this period include increased energy and nutrient needs, the lack of a sense of urgency with regard to health concerns, excessive weight concerns, and lifestyle behaviors that often involve the consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar but low in nutrients such as calcium, iron, and folic acid. Female adolescents are particularly vulnerable to body image distortions and unhealthy dieting behaviors that may place them at risk for inadequate nutrition, menstrual irregularities, the onset of eating disorders, and possibly low peak bone densities and osteoporosis in later life. Furthermore, their energy and nutrient intake has the potential to impact on the health of their offspring, particularly if they become pregnant unintentionally. It is critical that health care providers assess dietary behaviors within clinical settings and either provide counseling themselves or an adequate referral (i.e., to a registered dietitian) as preventive strategy to avoid the consequences associated with inadequate energy and nutrient intake and to ensure the overall and reproductive health of adult women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-224
Number of pages26
JournalInfertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

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