Nutrition: The Decider of Your Future


Jenny Nguyen, writer and editor

Nutrition is a vital element of a growing and developing teenager, and it is extremely important to keep in mind what to eat and what not to eat. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services found, “Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death.”

Many of the foods that students typically eat can be extremely bad for the body. One 8.5  oz bag of Hot Cheetos can equate to the amount of fat in a stick of butter. By reducing one’s intake of this snack, many health issues can be avoided in the future.

However, Christine Hicks, Maricopa community dietitian supervisor, believes that there aren’t necessarily any dangerous foods, but there are food groups that teenagers should include  more in their diet. Hicks recommends that kids ensure they eat all five of the food groups for their meals. These include fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.

Eating all five food groups is vital because “different foods vary in the amount of the key nutrients that they provide,” according to These nutrients can help health flourish and develop properly.

Contrary to what many believe, starving is not a proper way of dieting, nor is it beneficial for the human body. Due to the importance of having a balance of all the food groups, severely limiting one’s intake of proper calories is not healthy.

According to the Government of South Australia, the health issues correlated to an unhealthy diet include “being overweight or obese, tooth decay, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers, depression and eating disorders.”

These health issues can result in a sickly body, or even worse, death.

It is especially vital that student athletes take care of their bodies. The Colorado State University found that all athletes can “achieve peak performance by training and eating a balanced diet including a variety of foods.”

This means that kids that partake in sports should regulate their diet even more than regular kids. Not only does performance improve, but one’s entire well being can flourish with the proper nutrients and become the best version of themselves.

The choices kids make now as a developing adolescent can affect them in the long run, so it is important to be mindful of what to consume for the best results. Even when one is busy, they should always make sure to have a healthy snack on them, such as a fruit or cereal.