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Nutritional Requirement for Teens

Why is nutrition important to you?

Healthy nutrition is important to:

  • Support rapid growth.
  • Be active.
  • Sustain good health.
  • Provide energy and nutrients to carry out normal daily activities.
  • Develop sexual maturation (before menarche in girls and when secondary characteristics appear in boys).
  • Provide extra energy more for boys (when they reach the growth spurt) since boys gain substantially more lean body mass.

Why do you need energy?

Energy is necessary for a wide range of functions such as:

  • Building of muscles.
  • Maintenance of body temperature.
  • Internal body functions.
  • Daily activities.

What is your daily requirement?

  • Your daily requirements depend largely on your:
    • Physical size.
    • Rate of growth.
    • Activity level.
    • Gender.
  • In general your body needs:
    • Energy (derived from the foods we eat mainly from macronutrients).
    • Macronutrients: Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat.
    • Micronutrients:
    • Vitamins – Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K.
    • Minerals – Calcium, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Folate, Selenium.
  • Energy (measured in Calorie) requirements for most healthy adolescents are high. The Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) can be used as a guide to determine your requirements for energy and other nutrients.
  • Refer to the RNI for Malaysia 2005 to determine the requirements for your energy and other nutrient needs. Values are available for adolescents as well as pregnant and lactating mothers. For example if you are a girl and your age is 15 years old, your calorie requirement is 2180 kcal.
  • You must eat a balanced diet based on the Food pyramid so that the amount of food you eat can provide you with all essential nutrients.
  • Choose a healthy diet to optimise your growth and build your self confidence!

How to assess your nutritional status?

Your nutritional status is determined by your food intake and nutrient requirement. One way to asses your nutritional status is by measuring your BMI using Body Mass Index or BMI using the BMI cut – off Points for Overweight or Obesity by Sex between 9 – 18 Years.


Last reviewed : 02 November 2009
Writer : Noor Shafiza bt. Mohamad Nor