Adolescence is a time of remarkable growth. During this time, 20% of final adult height and 50% of adult weight are attained. Bone mass increases by 45%, and dramatic bone remodeling occurs. Soft tissues, organs, and even red blood cell mass increase in size. As a result, nutritional requirements peak in adolescence. Deficits in macronutrients or micronutrients can impair growth and delay sexual maturation. Requirements for the individual are impossible to estimate because of considerable variation in the rate and amount of growth. Population-based estimates include the reference daily intake (RDI), which estimates average requirements, and the recommended dietary allowance(RDA), which estimates the intake that meets the needs of most of the population. Eating a varied diet,with foods chosen from all the food groups in the proportion recommended on the United States Department of Agriculture’s(USDA) Food Pyramid virtually insures meeting micronutrient requirements. Adolescents who meet these recommendations do not require...

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