E ola koa.

Live like a koa tree.

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Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the physiological basis for nutrient requirements during childhood and adolescence.

Adulthood begins at the end of adolescents and continues until the end of one’s life. During adulthood, the human body will reach maximum cardiac output specifically between ages twenty and thirty. Bone and muscle mass also reach optimal levels, and physical activity helps to improve muscle strength, endurance, and tone.[1] In order to maintain health and fitness throughout the lifespan, it is important to remain active. The CDC has implemented science based physical activity guidelines for all Americans to follow in hopes of creating a healthy lifestyle. In Hawai‘i, nearly 60% of all adults meet the recommended aerobic physical activity guidelines. However, only 32% of adults meet the guidelines for muscle strengthening and less than a quarter (23%) of Hawai‘i residents meet the recommended guidelines for both.[2] To learn more about the current physical activity guidelines visit

Along with physical activity, nutrition also plays an essential role in maintaining health through adulthood. As you’ve already learned, a healthful diet includes a variety of nutrient dense foods. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend eating a balanced diet from the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy.[3] In Hawai‘i, only about 19% of adults eat the recommended amount of servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Inadequacy of any food group can lead to several health issues.[4] Consuming diets high in fruits and vegetables may have health benefits such as a reduced risk for heart disease, and protection against certain cancers.[5]

  1. Polan EU, Taylor DR. Journey Across the LifeSpan: Human Development and Health   Promotion. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company; 2003, 192–93.
  2. Hawaii Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan, 2013-2020. Accessed February 16, 2018.   
  3. All About the Fruit Group. USDA Accessed February 16, 2018.
  4. Hawai‘i Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan, 2013-2020. Accessed February 16, 2018.   
  5. Nutrients and Health Benefits. USDA Accessed February 16, 2018.


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Human Nutrition Copyright © 2017 by University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Food Science and Human Nutrition Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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