Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Health Hints for the Junk Food Generation?
Would you please include more tips to help our young people become healthier? I teach school and could use help educating students about how to become better informed in preventing health problems.
Answer (Published 2/21/2003)

Like adults, young people need to learn the basics of good nutrition and understand other elements of a healthy lifestyle - the benefits of exercise, for example, as well as the importance of stress reduction and the avoidance of dangerous habits such as overeating, smoking, and drug use. Young people also need good role models for healthy living and defenses against the commercial pressures that tend to undermine the good habits that underlie good health.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Healthy Eating - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Nutrition - Want to change your diet? The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide is your anti-inflammatory diet headquarters. Start your free trial and get access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, hundreds of recipes, eating guides, and more.

Depending on the age of your students, you may want to approach the subject of a healthy lifestyle by discussing two recent events. One was a case of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) diagnosed in a college student whose diet consisted entirely of cheese, crackers, cookies, chocolate, soda, and water but no fruits and vegetables to provide him with vitamin C. Scurvy causes bleeding gums, loose teeth, muscle degeneration and weakness. It once was rampant among sailors who spent months at sea with no access to fresh fruits or vegetables. British sailors eventually learned to prevent the disease by drinking lime juice - hence the nickname "limeys."

Another topic that might interest your students was the recent dismissal of a suit against McDonald's brought on behalf of millions of teenagers by two New York girls who accused the chain of deceiving them about the high levels of fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol in its products. One of the girls is 4-foot-10 and weighs 170 pounds. The other is 5-foot-6 and weighs 270 pounds. Both claimed to be regular McDonald's customers. In dismissing the case, the judge said that it is widely known that fast food contains high levels of potentially harmful ingredients. (We may not have heard the last of this suit - the judge left the door open for a complaint that the processing of fast food may create an "entirely different - and more dangerous - food" than one would expect at home or in another type of restaurant.) The issues raised here may create a springboard from which you can interest your students in the difference between nutritious and unhealthy food and the other elements of a healthy life style.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related Topics

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here