Because teens' bodies are still in a growth phase, nutrient needs are greater during the adolescent and teen years than they are for adults--especially for those who experience huge growth spurts. To support the transition from a child's body to a young adult, teens need more nutrients during this part of their life.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Adolescents tend to most often fall short of their daily quotas of calcium, iron and zinc." However, teenagers are notorious for not eating properly each day. And depending on the latest diet fad they are following, they may fall short on nutrition.
This age group often has individuals with attention and learning disabilities which require higher amounts of B vitamins and minerals. Others, especially active youth, may require more iron. And young women, in particular, may be prone to eating disorders where poor nutrition habits develop.
Adolescents of all ages need proper nutrients not only for growth (especially bone-building nutrients like minerals and vitamin D), but to maintain a healthy immune system. Therefore, supplementing their diet with a well-rounded, simple and easy-to-take multivitamin/mineral tailored to their needs is very important.
If anything, ensuring teens take in enough vitamin D is also key. Vitamin D deficiency is increasing among adults and adolescents in the United States, according to a new analysis of NHANES data presented in March 2009.