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Originally published October 10 2009

Troubled Teens: Thirteen Percent Eat Recommended Amount of Fruits and Veggies

by Frank Mangano

(NaturalNews) As any parent will tell you, life for the average teen is a juggling act. They do their best to juggle their jumble of tasks, but almost inevitably, something gets neglected. And for the overwhelming majority of teens living in the U.S. today, that something is nutrition.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 2007 polling data of 100,000 teenagers, just 13 percent of teens are getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables into their diet daily. That's approximately one in every 10 teens. Adults fared better, with about a third of them eating at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables per day, but a third is a far cry from health officials' goal: For 75 percent of Americans to be eating at least that amount.

The reasons Americans aren't receiving proper nutrition run the gamut: lack of time, lack of will, lack of willpower, or lack of knowledge. A serving qualifies as e.g. 1 orange, 12 cherries, 1/2 cup vegetable juice, or 1/2 potato. It's also likely due to the fact that people with on-the-go lifestyles complain of "not having the time" for balanced nutrition.

But this excuse will ring hollow when teenage boys grow older and find that they're not as well-built, or when teenage girls have brittle bones by the time they're in their 30s.

Cells are in an almost constant state of growth and development in adolescence, and these cells rely on fruits and vegetables for vitamins A, C and E, which fuel cellular development. Bone health is largely determined during teen years as well. Bones rely on calcium from sources like spinach and on vitamin B6 from sources like bananas for proper development and density.

True, teens have the rest of their lives to improve their diets, but the teen years are crucial to the formation of dietary habits; it's where they take shape. And the earlier those habits entrench themselves, the greater the likelihood that teenager will succumb to age-related diseases come adulthood. According to a study published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, rats fed a diet low in vitamins (i.e., vitamin K) were more likely to develop weakening of the bones and hardening of the arteries.

Teens can typically get away with eating junk food from a standpoint of weight gain; their metabolism is revved at a much higher rate than the average adult's is. What the average adult stores as fat, the teen burns off. But the infrequency with which teens, apparently, eat fruits and vegetables is not without consequence. Those consequences will become apparent as they grow older, as the quality of their development will no doubt be a shell of what it could have been.


About the author

Frank Mangano is an American author, health advocate, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of alternative health. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Blood Pressure Miracle," which continues to be an Amazon best selling book. Additionally, he has published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health.
Mangano is the publisher of Natural Health On The Web, which offers readers free and valuable information on alternative remedies. To learn more visit:

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