Through the growing years, the difference is more in portion sizes and number of portions than what foods are chosen. Adolescent boys will need the largest amounts of food, usually measured by the energy the foods provide, or calories, especially during their periods of peak growth. Children who have a high level of physical activity also require more calories.
Empty calories provided by sugars or fats may fit into food choices during these years better than at any other times in life. But eating these foods often becomes a habit past the years of high activity and rapid growth, and can lead to overweight and obesity. Drinks are an easy source of calories but often provide no other nutritional contributions. For more information, download the Drinks Handout (Adobe PDF.)
Once individuals reach adulthood, the pyramid still forms the basis of good choices through the senior years. However, there may be better choices within each food group to help individuals meet the nutritional needs of their body and lifestyle, while reducing the risks of chronic disease associated with their genetic predisposition.
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