Impact of fast food consumption on nutritional status of high school students in South India
Keywords:Body mass index, Fast food consumption, Parental approval, Physical activity
Background: There is an increase in fast food consumption (FFC) among teenagers globally including India, but with a limited data on FFC, its influence on body weight, body mass index (BMI) in Indian high school students (HSS), which were analysed in this cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey.
Methods: After training the participants on various aspects of FFC, responses for the questionnaire were analysed the influence of various factors on FFC were evaluated.
Results: Of 230 participants, 70% were females. The mean±SD age was 14.1±0.74 years. Seventy-three percent were regular consumers of FF. Only 5.22% were overweight. Regular meals were skipped by 74.3%. Influence of reviews by family, friends (76.5%) in deciding the dining place was high. Branded FFs (pizzas 58.7%, burgers 60.4%) were preferred but locally prepared, less expensive, easily available food (samosas 91.7%, puffs and pastries 90%, aerated soft drinks 86.1%) were consumed. FFC with friends (72.2%), family (71%) either at home (89.1%), near school premises (70%), school cafeterias (43.9%). Parents (100%) were aware of FFC by their children. Despite high awareness regarding the harmful effects of FF (79.1%), 73.6% continued FFC. Good physical activity was reported in 70.87%; active involvement in sports (60.4%) is associated with less FFC and skipping regular meals (27.0%) but statistically insignificant (p>0.05). None had any systemic disorder attributable to FFC.
Conclusions: Regular FFC, skipping regular meals is high among teenagers. Parents were aware of their children’s’ dietary habits. Acceptance, affirmation from family, peers, promotes FFC.
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