Adolescence is time when food and nutritional choices are beginning to be made by the teenager as opposed to the parents and this may result in the start of unhealthy eating habits that may continue into their adult-hood. Lack of nutritional sufficiency has a positive relationship with many diseases including obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. In addition obesity may also cause a drastic decrease in self-esteem, consequently leading to social discrimination. In the teenage years this may result in mental illness.
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that a healthy diet for children and adolescents may involve a variety of nutritional foods including fruit and vegetables, cereals (including breads, rice and pasta), lean meat, reduced-fat dairy foods. The total fat intake should be moderate and saturated fats should be minimal. Foods should also be low in salt and only modest amounts of sugar should be consumed. Water is also recommended rather than soft drinks or other sweetened drinks.