Teens lack nutritious food in their diet

Lili Lomas, Staff Writer

Teenagers seem to have an eternal case of the “munchies,” always snacking away on whatever savory food is available. A lot of times, this food has little nutritional value and should be substituted for healthier alternatives.

 

People always talk about how they need to eat healthier but can not bring themselves to do it as packaged foods are so irresistible, convenient and a staple of our culture. However, what we eat is in our control and it is up to us to to make healthy eating choices.

 

I know that many people opt to bring packaged snacks to lunch since they are easy to just throw in a lunchbox to take to school. It is easier to grab a bag of Cheez-Its than it is to cut and wash broccoli so many people end up going for the unhealthier option.

 

However, even knowing that they should eat healthy, many high schoolers find themselves stuck in unhealthy eating habits because healthy food is “unappetizing.”

 

Adolescence is a period of growth in which our bodies need more energy than they will at any other point in our lives. Because of this, it is imperative that what we fuel ourselves with meaningful food that will actually last in our bodies and get us through the day.

 

Today, the trend seen among American teenagers is that they are eating all of the calories recommended in a day, just not the right kind. About one third of teens in the United States are eating vegetables less than one time a day.The junk food we fill ourselves up with is full of fats and simple sugars, also known as “empty calories,” which really have no nutritional value.

 

Relying too much on this type of food means we do not get necessary nutrients which impacts our entire lives negatively. Teens who eat a lot of junk food have a greater likelihood of becoming depressed, sluggish and a higher chance of having weight problems. Also, your concentration level decreases, and therefore grades go down.

 

Only you have power over what food you buy and what you put into your mouth. Therefore, when standing in the school lunch line, instead of reaching for the usual bag of Cheetos, try getting that extra serving of vegetables everyone overlooks. Our school has many healthy options including a salad bar so there is no excuse for not eating nutritious food.

 

When at the grocery store, instead of heading for the pack of fruit snacks you normally take to school, go towards the produce section and get real fruit to pack for lunch the next day.
Get creative with your food and try new recipes involving fruits and vegetables. You will not only be eating better, but you will feel better and fuel your body with longer lasting energy.

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