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Trends in Food and Nutrient Intakes by Adolescents in the United States

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Evaluations of dietary trends can show whether food habits are changing in recommended directions. Trends in intakes among adolescents age 12 to 19 years were examined by using data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) 1994-96, the CSFII 1989-91, and the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey 1977-78. Increases were seen in intakes of soft drinks, grain mixtures, crackers/popcorn/pretzels/corn chips, fried potatoes, noncitrus juices/ nectars, lowfat milk, skim milk, cheese, candy, and fruit drinks/ades. Decreases in intake were observed in whole milk and total milk, yeast breads/rolls, green beans, corn/green peas/lima beans, beef, and pork. Lower percentages of calories from fat were partly due to increased carbohydrate intakes. Adolescents had increases in thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and iron and decreases in vitamin B12. Servings per day from the food groups of the Food Guide Pyramid were used to discuss diet quality in the most recent survey. For any given Pyramid group, less than one-half of the adolescents consumed the recommended number of servings, and their intakes of discretionary fat and added sugars were much higher than recommended. Diets of adolescents still need to change in directions indicated by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including increases in intakes of whole grains, fruits, dark-green and deep-yellow vegetables, legumes, nonfat or lowfat dairy products, and lean meats. Additionally, increases in physical activity should be encouraged, as well as decreases in fats and added sugars. Effective nutrition education efforts for adolescents should be supported at every level.
Enns, Cecilia Wilkinson , Mickle, Sharon J. , Goldman, Joseph D.
Includes references
Family economics and nutrition review 2003, v. 15, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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