Recommendations for Children and Adolescents

IDA recognizes its role in promoting well-balanced, low caries- risk and nutrient- dense diet advice for children, adolescents and persons with special health care needs.

Dietary advice

Caries and its sequelae are among the most prevalent health problems facing children, and adolescents. Frequent ingestion of sugars and other carbohydrates (eg, fruit juices, acidic beverages) and prolonged contact of these substances with teeth are particular risk factors in the development of caries. Along with increasing caries risk, increased consumption of sugar- sweetened beverages and snack foods also has been linked to obesity.

Childhood overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in India with the increase in income. Health risks associated with childhood overweight and obesity are strong indicators for predisposition to adult morbidity and mortality and include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and dyslipidemia), and psychological stress (depression and low self- esteem), as well as respiratory (obstructive sleep apnea and asthma), orthopedic (fractures), and hepatic (steatohepatitis) problems.

To help the public make choices for a healthy diet, IDA's guidelines are given below:

  1. Eat a variety of foods;
  2. Balance foods eaten with physical activity to maintain a healthy body mass index;
  3. Maintain caloric intake adequate to support normal growth and development and to reach or maintain a healthy weight;
  4. Choose diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and low in fat, saturated (especially trans-saturated) fat, and cholesterol;
  5. Use sugars and salt (sodium) in moderation.
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