Healthy Eating Habits Essay

2058 words - 8 pages

More than half of adults in the United States are estimated to be overweight or obese (cite-hp pg 28). Obesity is a result of complex variety of social, behavioral, cultural, environmental, physiological and genetic factors (cite-hp pg 28). Efforts to develop healthy eating habits to maintain a healthy weight index should start early in childhood throughout teenage years to adulthood. Studies have shown the different eating habits according to gender and socioeconomic factors as well as, ways to enhance healthy eating habits and discourage poor eating habits. A nursing intervention that can be used to implement healthy eating habits in teenagers is to encourage awareness of health eating habits. I would use resourceful information and research to discourage unhealthy eating habits. Studies have shown the correlation between over eating and the time needed for eating, diversional activities while eating , cues that may lead to eating, differentiation on hunger versus the desire to eat, and the problem of eating during the nighttime.
Teenagers should understand the proper time that is needed for eating. Therefore, as a nurse it is important to know what is involved in the digestion process so that one is able to educate. (pubmed) explains that eating in a hurry can result in eating too much because satiety is not recognized until approximately 20 minutes from the time the food was ingested. I would educate the adolescent on the digestive process and explain the process of digestion that includes; ingestion, digestion, absorption and elimination. The North American Association for the study of obesity demonstrated that when people eat rapidly, more calories are consumed, the food is less appreciated and hunger occurs about an hour later (pubmed). Teaching teens to eat mindfully and at a slow pace will help enhance their pleasure of eating and not allow overeating. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (cite), unhurried consumption allows sufficient time to prompt the signal from the central nervous system that the stomach is full. After gathering information, I would be able to explain to teens that the perception of fullness in the stomach leads to eating less. Skipping meals is also worth bringing up because it is an unhealthy eating habit. When skipping meals, individuals can possibly binge eat is a very dangerous habit to develop. Skipping meals can also lead one to be hungrier than others and results in eating too quickly when a meal is finally attained. Recognizing the time needed for eating is a significant factor that can help reduce unhealthy consumption.
Another healthy eating habit that I can implement is, teaching the importance of focusing on eating and avoiding other diversional activities. Some diversional activities include reading, television watching, and talking on the phone. Research reveals that on average, U.S. children 2-17 years old spend approximately 2.5-2.75 hours a day watching television (cite,...

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