Anticipatory Guidelines in Adolescents

Early adolescence is a period of remarkable transformations of the body on all levels. Body image is greatly influenced by hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes, which lead to the rapid growth of cognitive and intellectual capacities and the development of secondary sexual characteristics (World Health Organization, n.d.). Moreover, environmental factors (for example, inadequate nutrition) start to have a greater influence on the body (Hagan, Shaw, & Duncan, 2017, p. 751). These changes may trigger obesity or anorexia, and a lack of satisfaction with body image may lead to suicidal thoughts (Sheftall et al., 2016).

Early detection of the problem is the primary way to averting the non-satisfactory body and suicidal thoughts. Therefore, the youth should be taught healthy dietary habits and advised to stay physically active during the day (Hagan et al., 2017, p. 751). Healthcare professionals should, as the youth if they skip meals, have healthy food options at school, have enough exercise, eat enough vegetables, and drink soda. The parents should focus on supporting the healthy lifestyle of their child and positively commenting on the changing body image for reassurance (Hagan et al., 2017, p. 751). Parents should be asked how they evaluate the dietary habits and lifestyles of their children.


Hagan, J., Shaw, J., & Duncan, P. (Eds.). (2017). Bright futures: Guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents (4th ed.). Itasca, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Sheftall, A. H., Asti, L., Horowitz, L. M., Felts, A., Fontanella, C. A., Campo, J. V., & Bridge, J. A. (2016). Suicide in Elementary School-Aged Children and Early Adolescents. Pediatrics, 138(4), e20160436–e20160436. Web.

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Adolescent development. Web.