Our expert says:
If a teenager eats an unbalanced diet or a diet that is deficient in essential nutrients like protein, calcium, iron, etc, then that person would not grow properly and be either very underweight or stunted, he would develop deficiency diseases such as iron-deficiency anaemia, or calcium deficiency which would prevent the proper growth of his bones and teeth. If you suspect that the teenager in question is not eating a balanced diet then do take him or her to a dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), so that the dietitian can check his growth by measuring his height and weight and then doing a diet history on the young person. A deficient diet during the vital growth period can have a detrimental effect on the person's health for the rest of his or her life (e.g. teenage calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in later life).
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