There’s no denying that most teenagers are exactly the epitome of health when it comes to their diets. Typical teens much prefer to tuck into fatty snack and sweet treats than worry about getting their five a day.
However, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, only a measly 9% of teens are actually getting the recommended amount of fruit and veg. This puts teenagers as the age group with the worst diet in the UK.
Aside from the health issues caused by a lack of nutrients and vitamins, experts have now linked junk food diets to moodiness and bad behaviour in teens. Not only does this poor diet lead to a decline in mood, but this in turn can lead to aggressive behaviour caused by mood swings, poor concentration leading to low academic results, and depression.
As the battle against teen obesity continues, young people are not only struggling to maintain a healthy weight thanks to the abundance of junk food, but they’re filling up on empty, un-nutritious calories, leading to malnourishment.
One doctor has suggested that the teenage diet is worsening to the point where it is actually causing “mind change”, leading to low mood, lowered IQ and antisocial behaviour across an entire generation.
The average teenager eats very little fish, vegetables and fruits. They’re also failing to get essential vitamins including A, calcium, zinc, iron and selenium. Yet they over-consume omega-6 fats (such as vegetable oil and processed foods).
How are we failing today’s teens when it comes to getting them to follow a healthy diet?
To a teenager, already hell bent on proving their independence and making their own choices, junk food is delicious, quick, easy and cheap. Plus, it’s everywhere we look! The choice between a bar of chocolate and a fresh banana is usually not one that takes too long to make.
However as parents and adult role models, we’re doing very little to educate them on the choices they’re making. Not only are the teen years some of the most important when it comes to growth, but without a balanced diet, the body will struggle to cope with the overload of hormones, stress and physical changes it makes during these years.
Yep, it’s difficult getting a teenager to make their bed, let alone make healthy dietary choices, but by encouraging them to get the good stuff they need, we allow them to keep their independence, whilst not risking their long term health.
Our Kids Fitness Instructor course is jam-packed with motivational ways to get the younger generation moving. Whether you’re devising a fresh new dance workout, or crafting Pinterest-worthy menus young people will love, it’s about making a healthy lifestyle realistic, and cool.
Throughout your course, you’ll cover exercise session planning for young people, the components of fitness and physical activity designed with children in mind, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and communication skills. Once qualified, you’ll be ready to roll in getting today’s teens excited about a healthier future.
Now that’s gotta put a smile on their face!