Author(s): Gutierrez Y, King JC
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Abstract The nutritional needs of pregnant adolescents are the greatest at a time when it is most difficult to meet them. Dieting, skipping meals, snacking, eating away from home, consuming fast foods, and trying unconventional diets are common eating behaviors among adolescents, which relate to their changing lifestyles of increased independence, busy schedules, search for self-identity, peer influence, group conformity, and body image dissatisfaction. Total nutritional needs of pregnant adolescents who are at least 2-year post-menarche are similar to those of pregnant adults. But, because of their poor dietary habits, they usually enter pregnancy with reduced nutrient stores and increased risk of nutritional deficiencies. All pregnant teens, therefore, should have their dietary habits assessed along with special dietary counseling, and vitamin-mineral supplements should be recommended if their usual nutritional intake is below standard. Also, the weight-gain pattern should be monitored to ensure that energy intakes are sufficient to support a gain of about 0.4 kg (1 lb) per week in the second and third trimester.
This article was published in Pediatr Ann
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics