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Slow-release energy foods are a must for teenagers, nutrition coach says

The United Nations and the World Health Organization report that 1 in 5 children are affected by obesity worldwide and 1 in 3 are overweight, with the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting these Numbers are accelerating at an alarming rate.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last September that children were gaining weight faster during the pandemic than before, with a 2.5% increase in BMI for children ages 6 to 11.

As the body changes, children become independent as they grow. Diet is one of the first decisions a teenager starts making on her own. However, some young people tend to make poor food choices. This is largely because they are either ill-informed or the information available is confusing, overwhelmed, or based on fads.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that most teenagers do not consume the recommended daily intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and avoid processed foods and foods and beverages high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. intake is generally increasing. Growing bodies need additional nutrients to support bone growth, hormonal changes, and the development of organs and tissues, including the brain, so teens should eat more of the slow-release energy foods. We highly recommend eating a balanced breakfast, drinking water throughout the day, and limiting processed foods. sweet drink.

Young people’s caloric and nutrient needs are important for healthy growth, and helping them understand the importance of making wise food choices is essential for this development. If you can develop positive relationships, you can go a long way toward becoming a healthy, independent adult.

Fiber, good fats, and healthy carbs are all essential parts of your diet.Getty Images

Schools need to make obesity prevention a priority as they can reach out to vast numbers of young people, provide opportunities to participate in regular physical activity, and provide nutritious food through school feeding programmes. .

I am a firm believer that adults must play a major role in educating young people about healthy living in general. It is our responsibility to teach them how to help them. It is also our responsibility to teach our children facts about nutrition. That way they won’t have to rely on the many myths that are passed down about food.

Here are some important myths that we need to break.

mythology: carbs make you fat

fact: This message is being echoed regularly online and on social media, but carbs don’t make you fat. If you don’t move your body enough to keep your balance, you’ll actually gain weight. Carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet, and cutting out entire food groups is not good for anyone, especially teenagers.

mythology: fat is not good for you

fact: Trans and saturated fats promote weight gain and raise cholesterol levels, but eating healthy dietary fats such as fatty fish, avocados, nuts and seeds is essential for a healthy, balanced diet. Healthy fats have endless benefits, including producing important hormones and supporting cell function.

mythology: To lose weight, you need to stop eating at certain times of the night

fact: If you are hungry at any time of the day, you should eat. It’s not true that eating late will cause your body to store food and gain weight. The body and its digestive functions slow down towards the end of his day. That said, it may take longer for you to digest heavy or large meals in the evening, but it’s not true that you should avoid foods completely after a certain time. lose weight; This leads to the fact that the only way to gain weight is to eat too many calories and not move enough.

To address these and other myths, I partnered with fitness and wellness show Dubai Active to host a student-only session to empower young people with the power of good food and fuel their bodies in the right way. to help them understand how to supply The one-hour workshop will also discuss how food insecurity, alcohol consumption, food addiction, and other factors influence eating patterns. I want to empower you with food so that you can control your body and feel more confident.

Nutrition Coach, Trainer and Active IQ Ambassador Karim Gabriel will speak next Friday at 11am at Dubai Active Event at Dubai World Trade Center, free for all students aged 15-18 I can do it. e-mail For more information

Updated: Oct 22, 2022, 5:11 AM