Diet Sense

By Scioscia, Marie Elena | Pointe, October/November 2004 | Go to article overview

Diet Sense


Scioscia, Marie Elena, Pointe


These days, body image often trumps health in our obsession with achieving a "perfect body." We're surrounded by photographs that might make us feel that the way we look is more important than being healthy. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no magic diet or pill that will make us look like someone we are not. Short-term sacrifice of your health for the sake of appearance can have long-term consequences.

Not all young dancers who go on diets need to lose weight. Having a distorted body image is like looking into a funhouse mirror: You see yourself as fatter than you really are. Often pressure to be slim from friends, parents and teachers can create this distortion.

Try shifting your focus to finding a weight that is right for you. A healthy weight takes into account how much muscle you have (muscle weighs more than fat, so the leaner you are, the more you can weigh). It also takes into account your age, height and activity level. "Crash" diets or other extreme measures that drastically cut back on calories-usually by eliminating food groups, like carbohydrates or fat-may cause quick weight loss, but unless you change your habits, all of those pounds (and often more) are usually gained back.

A visit to your doctor or nutritionist will give you a realistic idea of a healthy weight for your height and bone structure. The best way to determine whether you need to lose weight is to have a body composition measurement that assesses both body fat and muscle. Although it's very individual, body fat between 16 and 21 percent is healthy for athletic teenage girls. For athletic teenage boys, body fat between 8 and 12 percent is healthy. Body-fat percentages that are too low can cause many problems, including fatigue and irregular menstrual cycles for girls. For boys, it can affect hormone production, hinder muscle development, deplete energy and lower immunity. Remember, you may not have an objective point of view when it comes to weight, so let a trusted doctor or nutritionist help you decide if you actually need to lose weight.

There are healthful ways to lose weight if your body-fat percentage is too high, and you can see visible fat (most of our fat is internal and surrounds our organs to cushion them). Fad dieting, however, can keep teenagers from getting the nutrients and calories they need to grow properly. If your diet doesn't provide enough calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, bones may not develop properly, which may increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Many teens stop drinking milk and opt for sodas, thereby diminishing their calcium and vitamin D intake.

Also, if your diet is deficient in iron, you may develop anemia, which can make you tired. Foods that contain iron include red meat, raisins, spinach, dried apricots and fortified cereals. Those who eliminate carbohydrates lose important sources of iron and don't get enough B vitamins for energy production.

Your body needs to maintain a healthy level of fat, but it's also important to know how much you can eat to maintain that level. Everyone has a "basal metabolic rate." This is the number of calories that your body needs every day just to stay alive; it includes the calories that the brain and nervous system need, as well as the calories that your lean body mass needs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Diet Sense
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.