According to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, high school students’ rates of physical activity is decreasing. The same is true for daily consumption of fruits, vegetables and breakfast. Healthy eating and physical activity in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development and in the prevention of chronic health conditions.
For adolescents, adequate physical activity plays a significant role in their health and well-being. By participating in the recommended 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity high school students’:
- Boost academic performance by improving attention and memory
- Reduce risk of several preventable chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity
- Regulate body weight and reduce body fat
- Reduce risk of depression
Healthy eating in childhood and adolescence is important for proper growth and development. It also assists in the prevention of chronic health conditions. It’s important for teens to make choices from all food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy, every day. For adolescents healthy eating can:
- Help achieve and maintain healthy weight
- Support brain development
- Support healthy growth
- Boost immunity
- Improving mental health
Schools, communities, and families can work together to create supportive environments where adolescents can learn about and practice making healthy choices. Some examples are:
- Providing physical education and access to team sports
- Increasing access to healthy food and drink options
- Promoting opportunities for physical activity within the community
For more ways to boost your teen’s physical activity goal, check out the CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation strategy.
For resources on improving your teen’s diet, check out the FDA’s My Plate resources.