Some of the worst diets are consumed by teenagers and young adults the next generation of parents. Among females, those aged 1124 have the highest free sugars intakes (15.8% of calorie intake in 1624 year-olds, compared with 10.2% in 50–64 year-olds), the lowest fibre intakes and barely 10% achieve five-a-day.
The inter-generational effects of nutrition during pregnancy are now recognised the nutritional status of young women today may affect the health of their grandchildren.
The importance of nutrition pre-conception is being emphasised and word is getting out that entering pregnancy obese is not good for mother or child.
Balancing dietary energy density and nutrient density is challenging and young people are considered ‘hard to reach’ with health messages, but there are real opportunities for the food industry to use its skills to innovate and guide young people down a healthier dietary path that is conducive to maintaining a healthy weight and delivering good nutrition.