The “101”

Food is a big deal, right? It’s necessary for your survival, after all.

What you eat (type of food, amount) affects your health. For example, people who eat more food than their body requires may become overweight or obese. And some people who eat foods with more sugar than their body can process may develop a disease called diabetes. How you eat is affecting your health, one way or another. Some people—regardless of gender—develop eating disorders.

There are so many resources available to teach you about nutritious foods and managing your eating. The flood of advice out there is like trying to drink water out of a fire hose. So, make sure you get your advice from a healthcare provider, a government agency, or an organization that specializes in nutrition.

Reflect On It

Write in your journal (download journal) any thoughts you have as you think about this topic, using the questions below:

Learn More

Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers This guide recommends small and doable steps to get healthier.

Food and Nutrition Resources Check out these resources about food and nutrition written with youth in mind.

Keeping Active and Healthy Eating for Men This resource will help men, including young men, learn about healthy eating and physical activity and set and reach healthy eating and physical activity goals.

Diabetes Use this resource to read about diabetes.

Eating Disorders Learn about eating disorders by reading or listening to these articles.

Take Action!

Make Healthy Food Choices

Follow the Go, Slow, Whoa approach for planning and buying food for yourself or helping your family’s purchaser of foods.

Advocate for Healthier Foods

If the food available to you where you live, learn, or work is not healthy, advocate for food that is better for you and others too. At home, that might mean that you talk about healthy food with the adult who buys food for the household. Perhaps you will become the home expert on healthy foods! Offer to help in planning the weekly menu, and even help cook some of the meals.

At school, you could organize a group of students to ask for time with the school leader or school nutrition manager to talk about your school’s food choices.

Get Medical Care

If you think about what you eat or how much you weigh all the time, or try to throw up after eating, or if people tell you that you are too thin, you must visit a healthcare provider. Set an appointment with your family’s healthcare provider, or at a community health organization that offers free or low-cost health care services if you don’t have a regular care provider or health insurance.

If you or your family are not insured or do not have a regular healthcare provider, consider getting your health services through a community health center. Use the Find-a-Health-Center Tool to locate a community health center by ZIP Code.

Use the Find a Family Planning Clinic tool to locate a family planning clinic by state, city, or ZIP code.

Use this tool to locate an Indian Health Service, Tribal, or Urban Indian Health Program facility.

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