Health Concerns of
Sometime between the ages of 10 and 15, a girl’s body begins
to grow and change into an adult body. These can be exciting
and difficult years. A young woman may not feel exactly like a
girl or a woman—her body is somewhere in between and is
doing new things she is not used to. What can make it harder
is when no one talks about the changes, and so a girl may not
know what to expect. This chapter describes these changes, tells
how a girl can stay healthy as she grows, and gives information to
help her make the right decisions for a healthy life.
Eating for healthy growth
One of the most important things a girl can
do to stay healthy is to eat well. Her body
needs to get enough protein, vitamins, and
minerals during her years of growth. A girl
needs at least as much food as a boy. Getting
enough to eat leads to less sickness and more
success in school, healthier pregnancies, safer
births, and a healthier old age.
Girls also need the right kinds of food.
When a girl begins her monthly bleeding she
Girls who get enough to
eat do better in school.
will lose some blood each month. To prevent weak blood (anemia), she will
need to replace the lost blood by eating foods with iron in them. Also, girls and
women both need foods with calcium to help their bones grow strong. For more
information on eating well, see page 165.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012