utrition Exercise Essays
Food Consumption Among American Teenagers
American teenagers eat many different types of food. Some teenagers today are starting to pay attention to health warnings about what they put into their bodies. Those that do not will greatly impede how healthy they are later in their lives.Order now
There are so many food choices that can be made throughout each day. Lack of time due to homework, sports participation, and social lives can hurt healthful eating.
This is not necessary though. So many foods are available to us.
Speaking from experience, college students (in their freshman year) can be placed in a couple of dietary categories. Some teens are stereotypically what one may consider to be normal. These students usually just pick up whatever food is convenient. Teens eat what looks appetizing at the moment that they feel hunger coming on.
This youthful portion of the population completely disregards all fat, sodium, and calorie content of the materials that they place in their mouths.
There are many foods that the casual consumer will automatically obtain. The main items of consumption include sugar-laden colas, candy bars, and chips. Fried foods such as hamburgers and French fries, as well as Mexican foods, are especially popular treats. Pizza is a large component of this food group as well.
A second class of eaters lies at the opposite extreme from the casual consumer.
These students, the “health nuts”, have paid attention to what their mothers have tried to convince their children to eat since childhood. In the long run, these students will be better off than the casual consumers. In their later years, the healthful consumers will have fewer myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and their arteries will be much less likely to be clogged. Bagels, fruits, and salad (with little or no oily dressing) are the foods of choice among this healthy bunch.
A third class of teens may include the students who eat a combination of nutritious and unhealthy foods. These teens may eat poorly at one meal and will turn around and eat sensibly at the next.
Mood plays a large part in what these students choose to eat.
Because life is so busy for everyone in the `90s, our diets, including those of teenagers, have gone downhill quickly. As lives get busier, fewer people are at home to cook and eat nutritious meals. It is often much quicker to run to a fast food restaurant. At restaurants, every member of the family can order what they wish to eat. This often avoids conflicts at home as well.
There is always someone, usually the teenager, that has a problem with the menu. If one wants to, they are able to order meals that are not too high in fat and calorie content. Most eating establishments such as McDonald’s or Hardee’s have salads or sandwiches with chicken. Many people enjoy going to the fast food places specifically for unhealthy food, however. It is often a treat to go get a burger or to go out for pizza. Our culture has embraced such activities.
Teenagers especially buy hamburgers over salads because they are generally cheaper than the vegetables. Teens are on very tight budgets, and if they need to buy something to eat, it is going to be the item that fills them up the most for the least amount of money.
Items such as hamburgers and French fries are not just staples of the American diet, they are important finger foods. American teens need foods that can be consumed during car trips while driving to work or to a social gathering. Salads are not easily eaten with one hand.
Companies are now starting to make foods that are lower in fat, sodium, and calorie content.
Many teens believe that they can eat more of these items because they have less of the unwanted nutrients contained within them. Often these foods are not much better nutritionally than the original product.
This leads to the next problem of snacking. Breakfast is rarely eaten anymore because it is just too difficult to get up an extra ten minutes early. .