In a recent survey, the FSA found that girls ages 11 to 18 were the most likely to consume food and beverages high in sugar and fat, and the least likely to eat foods that provide nutrients essential to healthy growth, such as iron and calcium. As many as 46 percent of teenage girls were failing to consume the minimum recommended amounts of magnesium and iron, and only 7 percent were eating the recommended five servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Alison Tedstone, the FSA's head of nutritional science, said the issue was a concern and added: "Broadly, teenage girls particularly don't eat enough. Overall they are a group of the population whose diets are poor. Young children's diets are generally OK, adults generally a similar picture, adolescents generally are poor. That's been the picture for a number of years."
A spokeswoman for the UK eating disorders charity Beat commented on the FSA's findings: "This report is not really surprising but it is depressing. We must do more to both educate and support teenage girls both to eat more and eat more healthily. In a world where teenage girls read magazines filled with often confusing and contradictory messages about food and dieting, it is not enough to police the school canteen. Teenage girls and indeed all teenagers need to have a better understanding of how healthy eating is a key part of ensuring long-term health."
Posted By: Aspen Education Group