U.S. researchers report that the dietary habits of teenagers leaves many of them deprived of many vital nutrients, including vitamins A, B6, C and E, and calcium, iron and zinc.
Of the 400 teenagers surveyed, about one-third took vitamin supplements, but these tended to be the ones who also consumed healthier diets.
It's not tough to find the cause of these nutrient deficiencies: diets heavy on fast food and fat, and light on fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
Lead researcher Dr. Jamie Stang of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis believes these results confirm that most teenagers have not absorbed the message about the importance of good nutrition.
She suggests abandoning the ''because it's good for you'' approach in favor of demonstrating the link between good nutrition and sports performance.
Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2000; 100, 905-910
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