Fri, Aug 23rd, 2024
University A

A - Promote Health & Well-being from Birth to Adolescence through Key Dietary Strategies

Legal & Compliance

Childhood and adolescence are critical time periods for growth and development.  Given the current physical and mental health concerns affecting our youth, it is critical to identify and implement key dietary and/or behavioral strategies that promote health and well-being.  The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) emphasize the need to “make every bite count” with nutrient-dense foods. However, as toddlers and teens transition to greater autonomy in food choices, they face vulnerabilities related to healthy dietary pattern adherence. Many encounter inadequacies in essential nutrients, such as high-quality protein, iron, zinc, choline, and B vitamins, which are important for helping young people reach their full health potential. Emerging evidence now exists supporting the consumption of increased dietary protein, particularly at breakfast, to establish healthy eating patterns, improve diet quality, and prevent the progression of unhealthy weight gain and obesity-onset in young people.  The effectiveness of this approach may be due, in part, to the beneficial modulations in the signals that control appetite, satiety, food choice, and glucose fluctuations across the day.  Physicians and other healthcare providers are most often the first point-of-contact for parents, caregivers, and patients on how to close the gap on critical nutrient shortfalls and build a foundation that will lead to establishing healthy eating patterns during these vital life stages. Thus, this session will 1) Identify critical nutrient gaps that exist during key life stages of rapid growth and development; 2) provide a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy dietary pattern and 3) provide key evidence-based dietary strategies that promote health and well-being in young people with emphasis on dietary protein, timing of consumption, and personalized nutrition.