Nutritional needs of female adolescents

Jamie S Stang, Rachel Hayes-Bohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Adolescence is a time of remarkable physical, emotional and cognitive development. Due to the rapid rates of biological growth that occur during puberty, nutrient requirements are higher during adolescence than at any other time of life. Eating behaviors of female teens can influence their risk for immediate health consequences such as overweight, underweight, delayed sexual maturation, iron deficiency anemia, disordered eating, dental caries and suboptimal bone mineralization.1,2 Nutritional status during adolescence may also affect adult health status. Suboptimal calcium intake during adolescence increases a female’s lifelong risk of osteoporosis,1 while overweight status increases the risk of adulthood obesity.3-5 High intakes of total and saturated fat during the teenage years can promote the development of atherosclerotic plaque, thus increasing risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.6 Low intakes of fruit, vegetables and whole grains have been suggested to increase a woman’s lifetime risk of developing cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.7,8 Eating behaviors adopted during childhood and adolescence are likely to influence a female’s adult eating habits, thus further affecting long-term risk of chronic disease occurrence. Eating habits of adolescents may also affect cognitive and emotional development. After controlling for potential confounding factors, youths who skip breakfast have been shown to have decreased levels of concentration, reduced scores on math tests, poorer school performance in general and higher levels of disruptive behavior. 1,9,10 In addition, poor dietary habits among teens have been associated with other risk-taking behaviors such as smoking cigarettes.11,12 This chapter describes the nutritional needs of female adolescents, with emphasis on nutrients that are most likely to be underconsumed by teens. Information about common eating practices and how these affect immediate and long-term health are also included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNutritional Concerns of Women, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781439833377
ISBN (Print)9780849313370
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004 by CRC Press LLC.


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