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  1. 1. A Guide forTeenagers! Take C h a rg e of Your Health!
  2. 2. A Gu ide fo Teena r g e rs ! Take C h a rg e Your of Health! pace? t a hectic r lif e move aDoes you es, peer pres- ool, af ter-school activiti skip ressed from sch ay lead you toYou may feel st our b usy schedule m in the relationships. Y ab whatever issure, and family gm achines, and gr nch from vendin breakfast, buy lu hen you get ho me. refrigera tor for dinner w ealth? t your h to th ink abou the time Where is regular physical ous eating and aviors, like nutriti Yet healthy beh challenges of yo ur lp you meet the activity, may he regular exercise may life. In fact, he althy eating and d stay alert in nergized , learn better, an help you feel e er your risk for althy hab its may also low class. These he disease, and diabete s, asthma, heart diseases such as ncer. some forms of caWIN Weight-control Information Network
  3. 3. out whole groups of foods (like and physical activity, and offers grain products), skipping meals, practical tools that you can use and fasting. These methods can in your everyday life, from read- leave out important foods you ing food labels and selecting need to grow. Other weight-loss how much and what foods to tactics such as smoking, self-in- eat, to replacing TV time with duced vomiting, or using diet pills physical activities. or laxatives can lead to health problems. In fact, unhealthy dieting can Healthy actually cause you to gain moreDid you weight because it often leads to Eating a cycle of eating very little, then Eating healthfully means gettingknow? overeating or binge eating. Also, the right balance of nutrients your unhealthy dieting can put you at body needs to perform every❖ From 2003 to 2004, approxi- greater risk for growth and emo- day. You can find out more about mately 17.4 percent of U.S. tional problems. your nutritional needs by checking teens between the ages of 12 out the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and 19 were overweight. Take Charge. for Americans. Published by the❖ Overweight children and What You Can Do U.S. Government, this publica- teens are at high risk for devel- tion explains how much of each oping serious diseases. Type This booklet is designed to help type of food you should eat, 2 diabetes and heart disease you take small and simple steps along with great information on were considered adult dis- to keep a healthy weight. It gives nutrition and physical activity. The eases, but they are now being you basic facts about nutrition guidelines suggest the number reported in children and of calories you should eat daily teens. based on your gender, age, and activity level.Dieting is not the According to the guidelines, aanswer. healthy eating plan includes:The best way to lose weight is to ❖ fruits and vegetableseat healthfully and be physicallyactive. It is a good idea to talk ❖ fat-free or low-fat milk andwith your health care provider if milk productsyou want to lose weight. ❖ lean meats, poultry, fish,Many teens turn to unhealthy beans, eggs, and nutsdieting methods to lose weight,including eating very little, cutting ❖ whole grains2 Take Charge of Your Health!
  4. 4. In addition, a healthy diet is low insaturated and trans fats, cholesterol,salt, and added sugars.When it comes to food portions,the Dietary Guidelines use the word“servings” to describe a standardamount of food. Serving sizes aremeasured as “ounce-” or “cup-equivalents.” Listed below are sometips based on the guidelines thatcan help you develop healthy eatinghabits for a lifetime.Eat fruits and vegetables every day.When consumed as part of a well-balanced and nutritious eating plan, fruitsand vegetables can help keep you healthy.You may get your servings from fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits andvegetables. Teenagers who are consuming 2,000 calories per day shouldaim for 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. You mayneed fewer or more servings depending on your individual calorie needs,which your health care provider can help you determine. Fruits and Vegetables What counts as a serving? 1 serving✱ equals Fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, and pears 1 medium fruit Raw leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce or spinach 1 cup Cooked or raw vegetables 1/2 cup Chopped fruit 1/2 cup Dried fruits (raisins or apricots) 1/4 cup * Note: All serving size information is based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 (www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines).A Guide for Teenagers 3
  5. 5. Count your calcium.Calcium helps strengthen bonesand teeth. This nutrient is veryimportant, since getting enough 1 2calcium now can reduce the riskfor broken bones later in life. Yetmost teens get less than the recom- 3mended 1,200 mg of calcium perday. Aim for at least three 1 cup-equivalents of low-fat or fat-freecalcium-rich foods and beverageseach day. Calcium-rich Foods What counts as a serving? 1 cup-equivalent equals Yogurt, low-fat or fat-free 1 cup 1 Cheddar cheese, low-fat 1 /2 ounces American cheese, fat-free 2 ounces Soy-based beverage (soy milk) with added calcium 1 cupPower up with protein.Protein builds and repairs body tissue like muscles and organs.Eating enough protein can help you grow strong and sustain yourenergy levels. Teens need five and one-half 1 ounce-equivalents ofprotein-rich foods each day. Protein Sources What counts as a serving? 1 ounce-equivalent equals Lean meat, poultry, or fish 1 ounce Beans (canned or cooked dry beans) 1/4 cup Tofu 1/4 cup Eggs 1 Peanut butter 1 tablespoon 1 Veggie burger made with soy A 2 /2 ounce burger equals two and one-half 1 ounce-equivalents Nuts/Seeds 1/2 ounce4 Take Charge of Your Health!
  6. 6. Go whole grain.Grain foods help give you energy. Whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal usually have more nutrients thanrefined grain products. They give you a feeling of fullness and add bulkto your diet.Try to get six 1 ounce-equivalents of grains every day, with at least three1 ounce-equivalents coming from whole-grain sources. Whole-grain Sources What counts as a serving? 1 ounce-equivalent equals Whole-grain bread 1 slice Whole-grain pasta (cooked) 1/2 cup Brown rice (cooked) 1/2 cup Foods made with bulgur (cracked wheat) 1 cup like tabouli salad Ready to eat whole-grain breakfast cereals like About 1 cup raisin branKnow your fats. Unsaturated fat can be part of a ❖ butterFat is also an important nutrient. It healthy diet––as long as you do not eat too much since it is still high in ❖ full-fat cheesehelps your body grow anddevelop, and it is a calories. Good sources include: ❖ whole milksource of energy aswell––it even keeps ❖ olive, canola, safflower, sun- ❖ fatty meatsyour skin and hair flower, corn, and soybean oils ❖ coconut, palm, and palmhealthy. But be aware ❖ fish like salmon, trout, tuna, and kernel oilsthat some fats are whitefishbetter for you thanothers. Limit your fat ❖ nuts like walnuts, almonds, Limit trans fat, which is also bad forintake to 25 to 35 peanuts, and cashews your heart. Trans fat is often foundpercent of your total in:calories each day. Limit saturated fat, which can clog ❖ baked goods like cookies, your arteries and raise your risk for muffins, and doughnuts heart disease. Saturated fat is found primarily in animal products and in a ❖ snack foods like crackers few plant oils like: and chipsA Guide for Teenagers 5
  7. 7. ❖ vegetable shortening ❖ stick margarine ❖ fried foods Look for words like “shortening,” “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” or “hydrogenated vegetable oil” in the list of ingredients. These ingredients tell you that the food contains trans fat. Packaged food products are required to list trans fat on their Nutrition Facts. Replenish your body black-eyed peas, and chick- en with iron. peas/garbanzo beans hyd ric rog he Teen boys need iron to support ❖ spinach ena dsatu te redood their rapid growth––most boys rate d bl lls double their lean body mass denergy ce en between the ages of 10 and 17. Control your food o xyg portions. Teen girls also need iron to sup- calories iron port growth and replace blood lost The portion sizes that you get away ane during menstruation. from home at a restaurant, grocery fat miatrans fa store, or school event may contain ted t To get the iron you need, try eating tura more food than you need to eatunsa these foods: in one sitting. Research shows that when people are served more ❖ fish and shellfish food, they eat more food. So, how ❖ lean beef can you control your food por- tions? Try these tips: ❖ iron-fortified cereals ❖ When eating out, share your ❖ enriched and whole-grain meal, order a half-portion, or breads order an appetizer as a main ❖ cooked dried beans and peas meal. Be aware that some appe- like black beans, kidney beans, tizers are larger than others and 6 Take Charge of Your Health!
  8. 8. can have as many calories as ❖ Do not skip meals. Skipping ries and other listed nutrients an entree. meals may lead you to eat more are for one serving only. Food high-calorie, high-fat foods at packages often contain more❖ Take at least half of your your next meal or snack. Eat than one serving. meal home. breakfast every day. ❖ Percent Daily Value. Look at❖ When eating at home, take one how much of the recommend- serving out of a package (read Read food labels. ed daily amount of a nutrient the Nutrition Facts to find out When you read a food label, pay (% DV) is in one serving of how big a serving is) and eat special attention to: food––5-percent DV or less it off a plate instead of eating is low and 20-percent DV or straight out of a box or bag. ❖ Serving Size. Check the more is high. For example, if❖ Avoid eating in front of the amount of food in a serving. your breakfast cereal has 25- TV or while you are busy with Do you eat more or less? The percent DV for iron, it is high other activities. It is easy to lose “servings per container” line in iron. track of how much you are eat- tells you the number of servings ing if you eat while doing in the food package. other things. ❖ Calories and Other Nutrients.❖ Eat slowly so your brain can get Remember, the number of calo- the message that your stomach is full. Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 cup (228g) Servings Per Container 2 Amount per Serving Calories 250 Calories from Fat 110 % Daily Value* Total Fat 12g 18% Saturated Fat 3g 15% Trans Fat 1.5g Cholesterol 30mg 10% Sodium 470mg 20% Total Carbohydrate 31g 10% Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Sugars 5g Protein 5g Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 2% Calcium 20% Iron 4% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs: Calories 2,000 2,500 Total Fat Less than 65g 80g Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g Dietary Fiber 25g 30gA Guide for Teenagers 7
  9. 9. Plan meals andsnacks.You and your family have busyschedules, which can make eatinghealthfully a challenge. Planningahead can help. Think about themeals and snacks you would like forthe week––including bag lunchesto take to school––and help yourfamily make a shopping list. Youmay even want to go grocery shop-ping and cook together.jumpstart your daywith breakfast.Did you know that eating breakfastcan help you do better in school?By eating breakfast you can increaseyour attention span and memory,have more energy, and feel less irri-table and restless. A breakfast that ispart of a healthy diet can also help ❖ fruit––any kind––fresh,you maintain an appropriate weight canned, dried, or frozennow and in the future. ❖ peanut butter on rice cakes or whole-wheat crackersBag it! Pack yourlunch. ❖ baked potato chips or tortilla chips with salsaWhether you eat lunch from schoolor pack your own, this meal should ❖ veggies with low-fat dipprovide you with one-third of theday’s nutritional needs. A lunch of ❖ string cheese, low-fat cottagechips, cookies, candy, or soda just cheese, or low-fat yogurt Snack smart.gives you lots of calories, but not ❖ frozen fruit bars, fruit sorbet, ormany nutrients. Instead of buying A healthy snack can contribute to low-fat frozen yogurtsnacks from vending machines at a healthy eating plan and give youschool, bring food from home. Try the energy boost you need to get ❖ vanilla wafers, graham crackers,packing your lunch with a lean tur- through the day. Try these snack animal crackers, or fig barskey sandwich on whole-grain bread, ideas, but keep in mind that mosthealthy foods like fruits, vegetables, of these foods should be eaten in ❖ popcorn (air popped or low-fatlow-fat yogurt, and nuts. small amounts: microwave)8 Take Charge of Your Health!
  10. 10. Eat dinner withyour family.For many teens, dinner consists ofeating on the run, snacking in frontof the TV, or nonstop munchingfrom after school to bedtime. Tryto eat dinner as a family instead.Believe it or not, when you eatwith your family you are more likelyto get more fruits, vegetables, andother foods with the vitamins andminerals your body needs. Fam-ily meals also help you reconnectafter a busy day. Talk to your familyabout fitting in at least a few mealstogether throughout the week.Limit fast food and ❖ Limit fried foods or removechoose wisely. breading from fried chicken,Like many teens, you may eat at fast which can cut half the fat.food restaurants often. If so, you ❖ Order garden or grilled chickenare probably taking in a lot of extra salads with light or reduced-calories from added sugar and fat. calorie dressings.Just one value-sized fast food mealof a sandwich, fries, and sweet- ❖ Choose water, fat-free, or low-ened soda can have more calories, fat milk instead of sweetenedfat, and added sugar than anyone soda.should eat in an entire day.The best approach is to limit the Rethink your drinks.amount of fast food you eat. If you Soda and other sugary drinks havedo order fast food, try these tips: replaced milk and water as the drinks of choice for teens and adults❖ Skip “value-sized” or “super- alike. Yet these drinks are actually sized” meals. more like desserts because they are❖ Choose a grilled chicken sand- high in added sugar and calories. wich or a plain, small burger. In fact, soda and sugar-laden drinks may contribute to weight problems❖ Use mustard instead of mayon- in kids and teens. Try sticking to naise. water, low-fat milk, or fat-free milk.A Guide for Teenagers 9
  11. 11. Physical activity also has possible emotional and social benefits, including: ❖ Improving your self-esteem and mood. ❖ Decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression. ❖ Helping you do better in school. ❖ Improving your teamwork skills through sports. Be active every day. Physical activity should be part of your daily life, whether you play sports, take P.E. or other exercise classes, or even get from place to place by walking or bicycling. TeensPhysical should be physically active for 60 minutes or more on most, prefer- studies say yes. In fact, one studyActivity ably all, days of the week. noted that boys and girls whoLike eating well, physical activity watched the most TV had moremay help you feel good. Being Turn off the TV and body fat than those who watchedphysically active may: get moving! TV less than 2 hours a day. Can too much TV contribute to Try to cut back on your TV, com-❖ Help you control your weight, weight problems? Several research puter, and video game time and get build lean muscle, and reduce your body fat.❖ Strengthen your bones. Choose activit ies you like and stick to th em.❖ Increase flexibility and balance. Being physically active do es competitive sport. You ca not mean you have to join a gym or play a❖ Reduce your risk for chronic n or even turn up the music take a brisk walk around your neighborhood diseases like type 2 diabetes, and dance. Try some of these ideas: heart disease, and high blood ❖ Play volleyball ❖ Swim laps pressure. ❖ Jump rope ❖ Shoot baskets ❖ Ride your bike ❖ Run10 Take Charge of Your Health!
  12. 12. moving instead. Here are some tipsto help you break the TV habit.❖ Tape your favorite shows and watch them later. This cuts down on TV time because you plan to watch specific shows instead of zoning out and flipping through the channels indefinitely.❖ Replace after-school TV watch- ing and video game use with physical activities. Get involved with activities at your school or in your community. What you can do at home. Talk to your family cal activity can make it difficult to about making changes that encoMaking It eat healthfully and be active. Busy and regular physi urage healthy eatin cal activity. Dance g schedules may also keep families toWork from fixing and eating dinners music, run around basketball together the park, or play together. . Help your familyLook for chances to move more plan weekly men us and shoppingand eat better at home, at school, Understanding your home, school, lists. Get involved with shopping anand in the community. and community is an important step cooking too. See d the Other Resour in changing your eating and activity ces section for re -It is not easy to maintain a healthy cipe lists.weight in today’s environment. Fast habits. Your answers to the ques-food restaurants on every corner, tions on this checklist can help youvending machines at schools, and identify barriers and ways to changenot enough safe places for physi- your behavior to support your success. 3. Do you pack healthy lunches to Home take to school? 1. Is the kitchen stocked with 4. Does your family eat dinner fruits, vegetables, low-fat or together a few times per week? fat-free milk and milk products, whole-grain items, and other 5. Do you have sports or exercise foods you need to eat healthy? equipment at home, including balls, bikes, and jump ropes? 2. Can you get water and low-fat or fat-free milk instead of soda, 6. Do you limit the hours you sweetened tea, and sugary fruit spend watching TV or playing drinks? video or computer games?A Guide for Teenagers 11
  13. 13. School 1. Does the cafeteria offer healthy foods such as salads and fruit? 2. Are there vending machines in school where you can buy snacks and drinks like baked chips, fig bars, and bottled water? 3. Do you take gym class on a regular basis? 4. Are there after-school sports or other physical activities available aside from gym class? t do a yo u can tWha ol. ask thescho nts and de p of stu oices in For m a grou ealthier food ch or h chines. pr incipal f in ven ding ma sses or the caf eteria or or more P.E. cla lso ask f ctivities. Y ou can a sored physical a pon school-s What you can do in your community. Community (Where You Live) Write to local politicians and newspapers about the need for more places to play 1. Are there bike paths, hiking 3. Are there grocery stores and exercise in your community. Also, be trails, swimming pools, parks, or that offer fruits, vegeta- creative. Locate programs or places that you open fields that are safe to use? bles, and other healthy can get to by bus or train. Stay after school foods? for activities or join local youth groups 2. Is there a community center, (such as church groups) and encourage church, or other place that 4. Do the streets have them to offer opportunities for physical offers classes such as dance, sidewalks so you can activity. The YMCA, 4-H, and the Boys self-defense, or other physical walk safely? and Girls Clubs of America are examples activities? of organizations that offer youth health programs. 12 Take Charge of Your Health!
  14. 14. Change Occurs SlowlyOld habits are hard to break and ❖ Look at your current eating tive most days of the week? Donew ones, especially those related and physical activity habits you eat when you are stressed?to eating and physical activity, can and at ways you can make Can you substitute physicaltake months to develop and stick them healthier. Use a food and activity for eating at these times?with. Here are some tips to help activity journal for 4 or 5 days, For tips on keeping a food andyou in the process: and write down everything you activity diary, check out the eat, your activities, and your website of the American Acad-❖ Make changes slowly. Do not emotions. Review your journal emy of Family Physicians at expect to change your eating or to get a picture of your habits. www.familydoctor.org. You can activity habits overnight. Chang- Do you skip breakfast? Are you also buy inexpensive journals at ing too much too fast can hurt eating fruits and vegetables ev- grocery stores, discount stores, your chances of success. ery day? Are you physically ac- or online bookstores.A Guide for Teenagers 13
  15. 15. ❖ Set a few realistic goals for yourself. First, try cutting back the number of sweetened sodas you drink by replacing a couple of them with unsweet- ened beverages. Once you have reduced your sweetened soda intake, try eliminating these drinks from your diet. Then set a few more goals, like drinking low-fat or fat-free milk, eating more fruits, or getting more physical activity each day.❖ Identify your barriers. Are there unhealthy snack foods at home that are too tempting? Is the food at your cafeteria too high in fat and added sugars? Do you find it hard to resist drinking several sweetened so- das a day because your friends ❖ Get a buddy at school or do it? Use the tips that start on someone at home to support page 11 to identify changes you your new habits. Ask a friend, can make. sibling, parent, or guardian to help you make changes and stick with your new habits. ❖ Know that you can do it! Use the information in this booklet and the resources listed at the end to help you. Stay positive and focused by remembering why you wanted to be health- ier––to look, feel, move, and learn better. Accept relapses– –if you fail at one of your nutri- tion or physical activity goals one day, do not give up. Just try again the next day. Also, share this information with your family. They can support you in adopting healthier behaviors.14 Take Charge of Your Health!
  16. 16. OtherResourcesWebsiteshttp://www.mypyramid.gov isyour access point for the U.S. De-partment of Agriculture’s (USDA)food guidance system. This websitecontains general guidance on foodand healthy eating, with tips andsuggestions for making smart dietarychoices. The site also featuresinteractive tools that can customizefood and calorie recommendationsaccording to your age, gender, andphysical activity level. http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn is the http://ndep.nih.gov/teens/index. USDA’s Team Nutrition website, aspx, from the National Diabeteshttp://www.health.gov/ which focuses on the role nutritious Education Program, provides teensPAGuidelines is where you can school meals, nutrition education, with information about diabetes.learn about the benefits of physical and a health-promoting school en- The website offers publicationsactivity. The 2008 Physical Activ- vironment play in helping students and resources on how teens canity Guidelines for Americans, from learn to enjoy healthy eating and prevent and manage diabetes.the U.S. Department of Health and physical activity.Human Services, provides general http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion/information on physical activity for http://www.nichd.nih.gov/msy keep.htm is a quiz from the Nation-teenagers, including how often you is the National Institute of Child al Heart, Lung, and Blood Instituteshould be active and which activi- Health and Development’s Media- that tests your knowledge of howties are best for you. Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be food portion sizes have changed Active! program. This interactive during the last 20 years.http://www.fitness.gov, run by after-school program is designed toThe President’s Council on Physical http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ help young people become awareFitness and Sports, provides regular dnpa/physical/index.htm, a site of the media’s influence on theirupdates on the Council’s activities sponsored by the CDC’s Division food and physical activity choices.as well as resources on how to get of Nutrition and Physical Activity,involved in its programs. http://www.cdc.gov/powerful- addresses the importance of physi- bones is part of the Centers for cal activity and provides recommen-http://www.girlshealth.gov, devel- Disease Control and Prevention’s dations on how to get started on aoped by the Office on Women’s (CDC) Powerful Bones, Powerful fitness program. It includes links toHealth, provides girls with reliable Girls, which is a national health websites that offer health informa-health information on physical activ- campaign that provides tips on tion for teenagers.ity, nutrition, stress reduction, and healthy eating and physical activity.more. NIH Publication No. 09–4328 August 2009A Guide for Teenagers 15
  17. 17. Weight-control Information Network 1 WIN Way Bethesda, MD 20892-3665 Phone: (202) 828-1025 Toll-Free number: 1-877-946-4627 FAX: (202) 828-1028 Email: WIN@info.niddk.nih.gov Internet: http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Dige stive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health, which is the Federal Government’s lead agency responsible for biomedic al research on nutrition and obesity. Authorized by Congress (Pub lic Law 103-43), WIN provides the general public, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based health infor mation on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritiona l issues. Publications provided by WIN are reviewed by both NIDDK scien tists and outside experts. Special thanks to the teens who helped with this pub lication. This publication is not copyrighted. WIN encourages users of this brochure to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired. This publication is also available at http://www.win.ni ddk.nih.gov16
  18. 18. U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesNIH Publication No. 09–4328Updated August 2009

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