Task 1: Nutritional Challenges During Adolescence
Adolescence is a period marked by rapid growth, development, and changing nutritional needs. Various nutritional challenges commonly impact adolescents:
Nutritional Challenges During Adolescence
1. Increased Nutrient Requirements: Adolescents experience growth spurts and hormonal changes, leading to higher nutrient needs that must be met for optimal development.
2. Iron Deficiency: The onset of menstruation in girls and growth-related demands can elevate iron requirements, rendering them susceptible to iron deficiency anemia.
3. Calcium and Bone Health: Adequate calcium intake is crucial during adolescence to ensure the development of strong bones, reducing the risk of future osteoporosis.
4. Body Image and Eating Disorders: Adolescents often encounter societal pressures regarding appearance, contributing to body image concerns and the potential development of eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.
5. Unhealthy Eating Patterns: Poor dietary habits, including skipping meals, consuming excessive fast food, and insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption, can lead to nutrient deficiencies and compromised health.
Task 2: Case Study – Adolescent with Iron Deficiency Anemia
Berthe is a 16-year-old adolescent, and her mother has accompanied her to Children’s Hospital to see a pediatrician for a well-child visit. Berthe appears pale and has a hemoglobin 10.2 g/100 mL. Berthe’s mother states that she has been more tired lately, taking a nap after school, and has had several colds. When asked about her diet, Berthe acknowledges that she often skips breakfast, eats a sandwich and soda for lunch at school, and has a hot meal (meat, vegetables, and starch) for dinner at home with her family. Berthe is diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, and an iron supplement is prescribed. Her mother says she had considered starting Berthe on “vitamins” with an iron supplement but decided to wait because she was scheduled for her well-child check-up.
Cultural Background: Black African American
Socioeconomic Status: Middle-class
Psychosocial Variables: High academic expectations, extracurricular involvement, peer influence
Height: 5’4″ (163 cm)
Weight: 110 lbs. (50 kg)
BMI: 18.9 kg/m² (below average)
Observations of fatigue and paleness
Hemoglobin: 10.2 g/dL (below normal range)
Serum Ferritin: 15 ng/mL (below normal range)
Berthe exhibits signs of fatigue and appears pale. She reports dizziness and low energy levels. Physical examination reveals brittle nails and dry skin.
Dietary Intake Analysis:
Berthe’s diet lacks iron-rich foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, and fortified cereals. Her intake of fruits and vegetables is limited.
Prescribed iron supplements (ferrous sulfate)
Potential Nutrient/Herb/Drug Interactions:
Vitamin C enhances iron absorption; Sarah should consume vitamin C-rich foods and iron sources. Calcium-rich foods and antacids may hinder iron absorption when taken simultaneously with iron supplements.
1. Nutrition Education: Berthe must comprehend the significance of iron-rich foods like red meat, legumes, and fortified cereals.
2. Meal Planning: A registered dietitian can assist Berthe in devising balanced meals incorporating ample iron and vitamin C sources to improve absorption.
3. Supplementation: A healthcare professional’s prescribed iron supplements can address her iron deficiency anemia.
4. Psychosocial Support: Addressing academic stress and cultivating a positive body image are critical to averting the onset of eating disorders.
5. Monitoring: Consistent hemoglobin and serum ferritin level tracking is vital to gauge Berthe’s progress.
Recognizing Berthe’s cultural background, socioeconomic status, and psychosocial influences aids in customizing the intervention to her specific requirements, ensuring a holistic strategy to address her iron deficiency anemia and overall well-being.