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Nutrition of adolescent girls in lowand middle-income countries

David I. Thurnham, Sight and Life, Volume 27 (3) 2013.

Available at www.sightandlife.org

Adolescence during the teenage years of 13 to 19 is a time of dramatic change. Adolescence is the only time in life besides the critical window of the first 1000 days when the velocity of growth actually increases. For many girls, the opportunity to benefit from this period of potential growth is curtailed by early pregnancy. This article describes the nutritional status and requirements of adolescent women in low- and middleincome countries and highlights some of the problems posed by malnutrition and early marriage.

Key messages

While adolescence is an opportunity for catch-up growth, poor diets and the physical demands of early marriage and pregnancy curtail the opportunities for growth. To address this, education needs to be promoted to increase the age of marriage, micronutrient fortification should be supported to improve dietary quality, and a high quality and diverse diet should be promoted to ensure adequate bone growth.

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David I. Thurnham (2014). Nutrition of adolescent girls in lowand middle-income countries. Nutrition Exchange 4, July 2014. p30. www.ennonline.net/nex/4/en/countries

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