Trends of fast food consumption among adolescent and young adult Saudi girls living in Riyadh

  • Nora A. ALFaris Nutrition and Food Science Department, College of Home Economics, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Jozaa Z. Al-Tamimi Nutrition and Food Science Department, College of Home Economics, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Moneera O. Al-Jobair Nutrition and Food Science Department, College of Home Economics, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Naseem M. Al-Shwaiyat Department of Clinical Nutrition, College of Applied Health Sciences in Arrass, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Nutrition epidemiology

Abstract

Background: Saudi Arabia has passed through lifestyle changes toward unhealthy dietary patterns such as high fast food consumption. Adolescents and young adults, particularly girls, are the main groups exposed to and affected by these adverse eating behaviors.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the trends of fast food consumption among adolescent and young adult Saudi girls living in Riyadh, and to compare between them.

Design: In a cross-sectional survey, 127 adolescent Saudi girls (13–18 years) and 69 young adult Saudi girls (19–29 years) were randomly recruited to participate in this study. Weight, height, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured using standardized methods. Twenty-four-hour diet recall and a face-to-face interview food questionnaire were performed.

Results: Most of the participants had adequate intake of protein, riboflavin, iron, and sodium, but exhibited low intake for several other nutrients. Among study participants, 95.4% consume restaurants’ fast food and 79.1% eat fast food at least once weekly. Burgers and carbonated soft drinks were the main kinds of fast food meals and beverages usually eaten by girls. Adolescent girls who usually ate large portion sizes of fast food had significantly higher mean waist circumference and hip circumference. Participants eat fast food primarily for enjoying the delicious taste, followed by convenience. Restaurants’ hygiene and safety standards were the main concern regarding fast food for 62.2% of girls. Finally, international restaurants were preferable by participants to buy fast food compared with local restaurants (70.9% vs. 29.1%).

Conclusion: Our findings provide evidence on the high prevalence of fast food consumption among Saudi girls, suggesting an urgent need for community-based nutrition interventions that consider the trends of fast food consumption and targeted eating behaviors of adolescent and young adult girls.

Keywords: fast food; restaurants; adolescent; young adult; Saudi Arabia

Responsible Editor:
Seppo Salminen, University of Turku, Finland.

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 26488 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.26488

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Published
2015-03-18
How to Cite
ALFaris, N. A., Al-Tamimi, J. Z., Al-Jobair, M. O., & Al-Shwaiyat, N. M. (2015). Trends of fast food consumption among adolescent and young adult Saudi girls living in Riyadh. Food & Nutrition Research, 59. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.26488
Section
Original Articles

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