Healthlines: Is the pressure of looming exams leading teens to unhealthy eating habits?

| نسخة PDF Send to Friend Print News | A A

Author: Alva Carpenter, [email protected]

Wednesday 21 April 2010

The teenage years are known to be very stressful since the body goes through a lot of growth and hormone level changes. For this reason, it is important to provide it with top-quality nutrients to help drive it through these important years. However, with the constant stress of project deadlines and exam preparations, many teenagers tend to fuel their bodies with high-fat and high-sugar foods that are very low in important nutrients.

Aiming to get good grades in hope of finally getting that university degree is still as important as ever. As a result, parents might turn a blind eye to poor eating habits that their teenagers may have since their main concern is studying. As a result, many teenagers end up gaining weight from sitting down more to study and reaching out for chocolate bars, cookies, chips or soft drinks. It is important to note, however, that eating junk food can lead to fatigue at a time when they need support and energy in order to get everything done.
Maintaining a positive attitude to studying is very important. The more positive you feel about studying, the easier it will be to remember all the facts. If you view studying negatively, however, you are more likely to want to distract yourself with constant snacking and time wasting. Study the most difficult or least interesting material first, when your energy is at its highest.
 

Teens do need their sleep and have a great capacity to sleep especially at weekends. However, constantly feeling tired could be a sign that they have an iron deficiency. We often think we need sugar or that our bodies are asking for sugar to give us energy — at least that’s what advertising tries to convince us. In reality, however, we can get all the energy we need from the foods we eat in a healthy and balanced diet.

Choose a nutritious wholegrain breakfast like Muesli, Weetabix or porridge oats to fuel your brain. Such high-fiber breakfasts make a great difference in concentration, mood and energy levels.

• Lean roast beef sandwich made with brown whole meal bread
• Baked beans on toast
• Boiled egg and toast
• Sardines canned in oil on toast.
• Bowl of breakfast cereal
• A few dried figs
• A tablespoonful of sesame seeds
• Green leafy vegetables, such as watercress, kale, spring greens and broccoli

Drinking large quantities of coffee to help you get through long periods of studying will actually interfere with your natural sleep patterns and make you more tired in the long run. Instead, drink more water to keep you hydrated; it’s great for the skin as well. Try to keep a bottle of water on your desk. Also, drinking peppermint tea or sucking on mint sweets keeps the brain alert. Unlike water, fizzy drinks and “juice drinks” contain a lot sugar — which means they contain a lot of calories — and very few nutrients. So, try to keep these to a minimum as the added sugar can also damage teeth.

Start your busy day with some exercise before you hit the shower. Do ten minutes of exercise every morning to help you wake up. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that make you feel happier and more confident. If you’re not sure which exercises to do, send me an email for my mini-morning workout at [email protected].
 
 

— Mrs. Gupta
 
Yes. Milk and other dairy products are very important for bone health, especially during the first ten years when bones are growing the fastest. Milk contains calcium which is critical to building bone mass and keeping bones strong so that they can support physical activity and lower the risk of bone fractures, such as osteoporosis.
— Alva

| نسخة PDF Send to Friend Print News | A A

Events & Exhibitions

Stay Connected

Facebook