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There are a number of good habits we should practice in order to stay healthy. These are essential for the good health of every person, be they young or old, regardless of race.

The first area is nutrition. What it means is that we should eat a well-balanced diet. We are familiar with the diagram of the food pyramid. Every now and then the divisions within the pyramid change because nutritionists come up with new theories of what is best. Basically nutritionists agree that we need to eat carbohydrates to give us energy. Carbohydrates are foods such as bread, potatoes and rice. Carbohydrates keep us warm and supply us with the energy we need to keep us alive, to move about and to work.

Food such as meat and fish also gives us the nutrients necessary for growth and for the repair of worn tissue. It follows then that children and growing teenagers need more food than older people. There is some truth in this. Food supplies us with vitamins, minerals and other substances that are necessary for the chemical processes that take place in our body.

The question of the amount of food we need is also often under investigation. Most nutritionists agree that the amount of food we need depends on the amount of energy we need for our day to day living and also for the kind of work we do. For normal day to day living, a person who weighs about 64 kg needs about 2400 calories. Two-thirds of this energy is used to maintain normal body temperature, muscle tone and to keep internal organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys functioning properly. The remaining calories are needed for other functions such as eating, walking, working and playing.

The amount of work a person does also determines the amount of food he eats. A person who does heavy manual work such as a farmer or a construction worker uses up more calories, and therefore needs more food. We are impressed and sometimes amused by the amount of rice that a manual worker can consume and yet remain trim. On the other hand, an office worker may appear to eat a modest amount of rice and vegetables and yet appear overweight. The fact is the office worker probably only needs about 2200 calories. When we consume more calories than we need regularly, we end up fat and unhealthy. It is thus easy to understand why people in affluent countries, like the USA and Germany, are often fat and unhealthy. Unfortunately, obesity and its negative consequences are problems in societies where there is plenty of food.

It is true that in their teens, children go through a growth spurt so they do need extra food. Teenagers are often hungry and this could be the body's way of signaling for food. There is a tendency for teenagers to go for instant gratification in the form of comfort foods such as burgers and hot dogs. Some may go for Asian treats such as nasi lemak and the usual accompaniments or a plate of oily fried noodles.

It is not a crime to indulge occasionally in one's favorite foods even though they are unhealthy choices. However, it is important that growing teenagers eat a balanced diet that consists of a variety of foods that include fish, meat and eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit and boiled rice and potatoes.


Based on the passage given, write a summary:

on nutrition

the amount of food teenagers need


Your summary must:

be in continuous writing ( not in note form )

not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below


Begin your summary as follow:

To stay healthy, we have to eat a well-balanced diet ...

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To stay healthy, we have to eat a well-balanced diet. We need carbohydrates for energy and body heat. We need protein to help in growth and repair of tissues. It is true that growing adults need more food. The optimal amount depends on the work we do. An average working adult probably needs about 2400 calories a day. However, when we consume more than what we need, we end up overweight. Obesity is a clear mark of an affluent society. It is thus a health problem in rich societies. Growing teenagers do need extra food for growth but unfortunately many teenagers indulge in comfort foods such as hot dogs and burgers. For health, it is best to maintain a balanced diet of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates. (126 words)

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