Adolescence and Healthy Lifestyles

Physical activity and healthy eating habits are just as important in your teen years as they are in adulthood. While the teen metabolism may be coveted by many adults, it does not keep our youth from developing habits that may hinder their health later in life. Bad habits that start in childhood or adolescence may be harder to change in adulthood. And the same goes for good health habits. Good habits are also harder to break as you age. 

Model and Encourage
You, as a parent, play a large role in guiding your child or adolescent in making positive health choices and setting an example of a healthy lifestyle. 

Making time for family meals is one way to encourage and model healthy eating patterns. Research has shown that families who eat together at least three meals a week have children who were 24 percent more likely to eat healthy at those meals, 12 percent less likely to be overweight, and 20 percent less likely to eat unhealthy in general, and 35 percent less likely to engage in drastic weight loss methods, like purging. 

Familiarization with healthy foods early in life will not only help children accept healthy foods, but prefer it as well. Parents can also help their children build a healthy foundation by providing healthy food option in the home. Making healthy, hand held fruits and vegetables available and convenient will help them eat healthier as well.  

Family activates like after dinner walks, weekend bike rides, and playing catch are among many options that will give your child or adolescent a healthy foundation. Making physical activity something to be enjoyed, rather than a punishment, will perhaps give them a love for exercise in the future. 

Healthy People 2020 
Every decade (10 years) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services establish a list of science-based health goals for the Nation. These goals are used as a guide to help shape decisions for our country that will encourage healthier living for all people. One goal for 2020 is to, Improve the healthy development, health, safety, and well-being of adolescents and young adults.

Twenty-one percent of the population fall into one of two categories: adolescents (10-19 years old) or young adults (20-24 years old). It is during these years that behavior patterns are established. These patterns will shape not only their current health status, but also their risk for developing chronic diseases in adulthood. 

The Psychology 
Eating a healthy diet at a young age can aid in adapting your palate to healthy foods throughout life. Psychology Today determined that during times of high stress a college student will eat unhealthy junk food, even if healthy foods are an option.  

Researchers showed that only 2.7 percent of the U.S. population of adults regularly achieves four basic behavioral characteristics that are markers for “healthy lifestyle” which would protect against cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Those four characteristics are: a good diet, moderate exercise, healthy body fat percentage, and a non-smoker. 


*This blog provides general information and discussion about supplements, health and related subjects.  The 
words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.
*Many areas of nutrition tend to elicit controversy. As with most health topics there are varying opinions and research.