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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Simple Nutrition Advice Not Always Beneficial

In an attempt to make medical advice more accessible, we tend to simplify things, which is probably the most obvious when it comes to nutritional information. We have all heard the health messages:
Unfortunately, these simple messages have to be interpreted, and may not be so simple, or even appropriate, for certain people, namely teens, people living with chronic diseases, people who tend to do everything at the edge of obsession, or people who just misunderstood the message.

For example, if teens leave animal-related foods out of their diet, and do not substitute other foods, they may not get enough calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and A, D, E, or zinc; not understanding "good and bad" fats may lead teens to leave out high quality fats like nuts and avocado; avoiding high-fructose corn syrup may result in teens not eating yogurt; and low-carbohydrate diets in teens seem to include too few vegetables, fruits, fiber, and vitamin C.

All nutrition information has to be tailored to meet the nutritional goals and needs of the person, requiring the support of a nutritionist who knows the questions to ask, the balance needed, and how to help build a plan that provides all the nutrients teens need.

If your teen decides to limit or omit a food group, try a new way of eating, or becomes a vegetarian, do them a favor and encourage them to meet with a nutritionist to stay well with their new reality. Be well!
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.