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The journal. (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) 1971-current, December 08, 1971, Image 16

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) PAGE 18 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8,1971 THE JOURNAL am NEW YORK -r- \Six out of every ten teenage girls and four out of every ten ' teenage boys have poor diets,\ says a food facts leaflet from Rutgers University^ Item: A large number, of high school students studied by Hodges and Krehl, nutrition researchers at the University of Iowa, had distrubingly high cholesterol levels and an. abnormally large intake of fat, substantially above that recommended by the American Heart Association. Item: At a time when one out of every four mothers bearing her first child is still in her teens, teenage girls had the poorest food habits of any age group studied in a survey of Waltham, Mass. school children. These findings have come to light in the past several years. A new problem? No. But every bit as disconcerting as ever. We've heard it before and we'll hear it again: teenagers don't eat right. A representative of the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture queried experts both in and outside the department in an effort to understand that phenomenon that defies explanation, teenage eating habits. Their remarks, and the findings of recent studies, suggest that school lunch programs such as those fun by USDA's Food arid Nutrition Service may be our best weapon to date for • fighting Drug Shortage Is Causing Panic . Says Federal Agent BUFFALO (AP) — A federal nar- cotics agent says a drug shortage has created panic among addicts in Buffalo and along the East Coast. Marino H. Milano, head of the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in Buffalo, said Monday the shortage has sent the price of heroin lip from $8 a bag to $10 and $12 a bag. \The quality is getting lower and as the shortage continues, addicts will grow more desperate,\ he said. Federal agents said the East arid Gulf coasts dock strike has been a factor in the shortage because most heroin smuggled into the country arrives by sea. Milano said seizures of large lots of heroin has been another factor. \More than 1,000 pounds of heroin which, had been destined for illegal street sales has been seized in recent months,\ he said. \Some of this was seized in Europe, some of it on the East Coast here.\ Milano cautioned doctors and phar- macists to be prepared for what he thinks iriay be an increase in attempts by addicts tof.\steal opium-based drugs. teenage malnutrition. Why do teens eat the way they do? There may be as many answers to this question as there are teenagers in the world, pr. Joyce Brothers, the well- known psychologist, had; softie ideas oil the subject. \Adolescence is a time of great tur- moil,\ she remarked. . \The young people stuff themselves to make themselves happier and 'tend to overeat iri spurts, generally at times when they're alone and feeling sorry for • themselves, They tend at these times to eat the handiest foods, the ones that don't require preparation, such as a. bag of potato chips.\ \Then she continued, \they realize they are overwieght and go on-a crash diet, which makes them so unhappy and hungry that they start to overeat once again. It's eurcular.\ Lack of knowledge on good nutrition also contributes. Researchers on the staff of Dr. Frederick Stare, Chairman of the Harvard University Dept. of Nutrition, found that \adolescents have only the sketchiest information on the caloric content of foods and on sound nutritional practices.\ And Dr. Mary M. Hill of USDA's Economic Research Division adds that \Many have the idea that wells-balanced meals are -kid stuff' and important only during the growth period.\ The most severe dietary deficiencies > occur among teenage girls. Dr. Jean Mayer, the President's consultant on nutrition and a member of the Harvard team, analyzed a certain nervous loss of appetite which is limited almost entirely to teen and young adult girls. He found that it was simply \ah exaggeration of tendencies- present in many 'normal' adolescent girls...who are obsessfed with the desire to become thinner and who periodically go on extremely rigid diets to lose weight in spite of the resultant hunger and fatigue.\ Dr. Mayer warns that these dieting techniques, so prevalent among teenage girls, are particularly dangerous. . Dr. Brothers notes that teensmay skip meals, especially breakfast, because they don't have the patience to sit down and eat when \they're anticipating the day.\ And aUSDA home economist with the Food and Nutrition Service notes that the informal lifestyle in America today may also promote casual, haphazard eating habits. Another factor is the physical changes adolescents experience; Clara Tyiof and Orrea Py.e of Teacher's College, Columbia University, riote that \teenage boys and girls face strikihg changes in physical, mental, and emotional development...for the whole period from 11 to about 15 years in girls and from 12 to 18 years in boys, the food requirements will be much higKer than for adults of corresponding size.\ Finally, teens may use food as a tool of rebellion. Said Dr. Brothers: \Teenagers use food as rebellion against their parents...they eat what the group wants them to eat; not what parents advise.\ They may favor unusual combinations of foods or restrict themselves perversely to a few favorites, a tendency (say the University of Iowa researchers) which can easily result iii \habitually sub- normal nutrition.\ X>r. Hill adds that many associate good nutrition with foods they don't enjoy. It all adds up to a dim picture for today's teen. Eating habits such as those mentioned time and time again by these experts can be extremely damaging to a youngster's health; obesity, acne, loss of energy, arid many other problems are the sorry consequences of poof nutrition. . What can we do to improve teenage' nutrition? In the fall of 1962 a survey was made of the food habits of Waltham, Mass. school children. The survey showed that junior high school students attending a school where the school lunch program was available ate con- siderably less concentrated sweets than those, attending a school where lunch wasn't available. Says USDA's Dr. Hill: \These fiiidirigs indicate that the school lunch make a difference in the diets of these children.\ School lunch can indeed make a dif- ference. In their work with high schoolers, the University of Iowa researchers found that lunch often provided the most balanced meal of the day. if it was consumed in the school cafeteria. Students who left the school building at lunch time, however, usually ate such unsuitable combinations Of foods as french fries, candy, arid a carbonated drink. Dr. Brothers speaks to this spoblem when she points ,out that \School lunch can be helpful if EVERYONE eats it.\ Pat Remmel, nutritionist on Dr. Stare's . Harvard staff, agreed that the \open- campus\ situation, where teens are allowed to leave the building for lunch, can create many problems. Vending machines can be particularly insidious, so much so that USDA's Food and Nutrition Service prohibits their use during lunch hours in schools under the Federal school lunch program. And the American Medical Association's Council on Food andNutrition came out strongly against the availability of ''carbonated beverages and confections\ at school in a 1962 statement. One special way school lunch programs have been fighting -teen malnutrition is to involve them in the menu planning process.~ \If the young people are more involved, it becomes less of an 'adult' idea,\ points out Bf- Brothers. Dr. Johanna Dwyer, Dr. Mayer's associate, endorsed this idea. Many -schools, a USD A home economist said, are offering several choices at lunch j all within USBA's requirements. This is iriore satisfying to teens, who may balk at only one lunch being \stuck in front of them,\ she said. School lunch is helpful in teaching food habits. It's more than just a lunch; it's nutrition education in action. The nutritionists at Teachers College warn that the danger of eating wrong during the teen years \is in establishing a food pattern of overeating following this period of rapid growth.\ School lunch can help. It's also cheaper. Home economist- point out that when you can have a reasonably priced, nutritious school lunch it's hardiy sound money management to spend more for far less nutrients. All in all, the experts agree that the school lunch program can be a potent weapon in insuring that teenagers eat\ the right foods, it won't work miracles, but a little goes a long way when it comes to the school lunch program; RCA COLOR TELEVISION 1 * * * * * £ * N * * * * * * NOW PLAYING HMTT OF THE DEAD They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for HUMAN FLESH!... 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