Published: 2022-06-28

Impact of fast food consumption on nutritional status of high school students in South India

Oliver Dsouza, Deona Dsouza


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.


Body mass index, Fast food consumption, Parental approval, Physical activity

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