Two Numbers: 9 & 46 - The Teenager's Diet

Ice-Cream revised (1)
Katie Horwich

As children become teens and then adults they generally eat and drink more (in grams) of most products. For example, adults consume more soup, beef, vegetables, tea and beer than teenagers, who in turn get through more than do children. For a few items the pattern is reversed. Consumption of full fat milk, ice cream and sweets is at its highest among the young and decreases with age.

But there are exceptions. In a British survey, there were nine types of food and drink that were consumed in greatest quantity by the teens and 46 that followed the usual pattern of rising or falling with age. The teens revealed their love for chocolate, chips, pasta, pizza, crisps, coated chicken, but the real outlier was soft drinks, where they consume double the amount of those younger and older.

There were also nine foods of which teens had the lowest consumption of the three groups. Salad, brown bread and white fish are unappealing to teens but fruit consumption was notable as it is a very significant item and teens eat only about 60% of that consumed by children and adults.