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Pregnant Adolescent Females Should Be Assessed For Weight

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Pregnant adolescent females should be assessed for weight gain adequacy, compliance with prenatal vitamin-mineral supplement recommendations and appropriateness of macro- and micronutrient intakes. They have increased nutritional needs for iron, zinc, folate, calcium, protein, and calories at the time of peak growth. Adolescents who are most most likely to become pregnant typically have poor nutrition and socioeconomic background. Due to the increased nutritional needs in pregnancy, the pregnant adolescents may be competing for nutrients with their fetus [24].

Pregnant adolescents, especially those below 15 years of age, are at a higher risk for pregnancy complications as compared to adult mothers. These risks include abnormal
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• Presence of hearing, speech, language, or learning disorders, deficiencies of sight, and English as a second language.
• Frequency of use and dose of prescription and non-prescription medications, “nutritional” supplements, diet pills, laxatives, herbs and other botanical products, vitamin-mineral supplements, and anabolic steroids.
• Socioeconomic status indicators such as homelessness, adequate cooking and food storage facilities, sufficient daily food supply, participation in food assistance programs, and access to medical, mental health, and dental care.

A complete nutrition assessment should include a survey of the all available medical, psychosocial and laboratory data. Detailed information on general dietary intake and adequacy, as well as information specific to the identified health risk, should be obtained through rigorous dietary assessment. For example, an underweight teen should be assessed for level of physical activity, history of metabolic disorders, and criteria for body image or eating disorders as well as adequacy of energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, iron, zinc and B-vitamin intakes, whereas a teen with hyperlipidemia would need to be assessed for weight-for-height status, physical activity level and adequacy of energy, fat, carbohydrate and cholesterol intakes. Choosing the best dietary assessment method for use in nutrition assessment is very
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