Teens diets are so poor that parents should consider giving them daily supplements, experts say


Teenagers’ diets are so poor that parents should consider giving them daily supplements, experts say

  • Experts warn around two-thirds of teens calorie intake comes from junk foods
  • Research shows that teens typically eat less fruit per day than a toddler
  • Teenage girls’ diets are particularly bad, with half having low iron levels 
  • Dietician Carrie Ruxton says parents should consider giving teens supplements 










Teenagers’ diets have become so poor that parents should consider giving them daily supplements, experts say.

They warn that around two-thirds of a teenager’s calorie intake now comes from ‘ultra-processed’ junk foods, leading to concerns that youngsters could be increasingly suffering from chronic deficiencies in vital nutrients.

While official guidance is for parents to give children aged six months to five years a daily supplement containing Vitamins A, C and D, advisers have been reluctant to recommend supplements for older children, preferring to stress the importance of eating healthily.

But nutritionists say the problem of poor diet has become so ingrained – with little sign of improvement – that changes are urgently needed.

Experts warn two-thirds of a teenager’s calorie intake comes from ‘ultra-processed’ junk foods

Experts warn two-thirds of a teenager’s calorie intake comes from ‘ultra-processed’ junk foods

The problem was raised at a recent Royal Society of Medicine event, where Gillian Swan, of the Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, warned many that teenagers had ‘very low’ consumption of fruit and vegetables, leading to some ‘very low vitamin and mineral levels… poor diet, essentially.’

The research established that teens typically eat less fruit per day (70g) than the average toddler (107g).

It also found teenage girls’ diets are particularly bad, with half having iron levels that are too low. Dietician Carrie Ruxton said: ‘Teenagers want to be independent and parents just let them – but they are not checking up on what they are eating.

‘We’ve been talking about this problem for years and we haven’t had a huge shift towards healthier diets.

‘If anything, people are moving evermore towards ultra-processed foods.

‘Parents need to think more about supplementation.’

Dr Ruxton, who has helped produce a report on the ‘micronutrient crisis’ in teens for the Health and Food Supplements Information Service, which is funded by the supplements industry, added: ‘A crucial thing about teenagers is they are not little adults – they are going through a phenomenal growth spurt and have a huge requirement for vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.

‘There’s no point waiting five years to get them to eat better. They need the nutrients now.’ 

Research shows teens typically eat less fruit per day than the average toddler

Research shows teens typically eat less fruit per day than the average toddler

Experts say that parents now need to think about giving their teenagers supplements

Experts say that parents now need to think about giving their teenagers supplements 

Professor Margaret Rayman, of the University of Surrey, an expert on iodine, said: ‘If you know your child isn’t eating properly, or is not eating meat, milk or fish, then by all means give your child a multivitamin or mineral pill, at the recommended daily amount level.’

More than a quarter of teenage girls have a low intake of iodine, a mineral essential in pregnancy for foetal brain development.

Intakes have fallen as consumption of dairy milk – a key source of iodine – has dropped, particularly in young women.

Many have taken to ‘plant-based’ milks instead, most of which are fortified with calcium, but not other key nutrients like iodine and Vitamin A.

Advertisement



Source link

Spread the love

Written by bourbiza

M&S launches range of fashion and home products that can be inscribed with messages and names 

PSG Transfer News Roundup: Lionel Messi best performer in training; Barcelona planning to hijack Real Madrid move for Kylian Mbappe, and more