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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

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ORIGINALARTICLE

TRENDSOFFASTFOODCONSUMPTIONAMONGADOLESCENTAND

YOUNGADULTSAUDIGIRLSLIVINGINRIYADH

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NoraA.ALFaris 1* ,JozaaZ.Al­Tamimi 1 ,MoneeraO.Al­Jobair 1 andNaseemM.Al­Shwaiyat 2

1 NutritionandFoodScienceDepartment,CollegeofHomeEconomics,PrincessNourahBint AbdulrahmanUniversity,Riyadh,SaudiArabia; 2 DepartmentofClinicalNutrition,Collegeof AppliedHealthSciencesinArrass,QassimUniversity,Buraydah,SaudiArabia

ABSTRACT

Background:SaudiArabiahaspassedthroughlifestylechangestowardunhealthydietary

patternssuchashighfastfoodconsumption.Adolescentsandyoungadults,particularlygirls,are

themaingroupsexposedtoandaffectedbytheseadverseeatingbehaviors.

Objective:Theaimofthisstudywastoexaminethetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamong

adolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh,andtocomparebetweenthem.

Design:Inacross­sectionalsurvey,127adolescentSaudigirls(13–18years)and69youngadult

Saudigirls(19–29years)wererandomlyrecruitedtoparticipateinthisstudy.Weight,height,waist

circumference,andhipcircumferenceweremeasuredusingstandardizedmethods.Twenty­four­

hourdietrecallandaface­to­faceinterviewfoodquestionnairewereperformed.

Results:Mostoftheparticipantshadadequateintakeofprotein,riboflavin,iron,andsodium,but

exhibitedlowintakeforseveralothernutrients.Amongstudyparticipants,95.4%consume

restaurants’fastfoodand79.1%eatfastfoodatleastonceweekly.Burgersandcarbonatedsoft

drinkswerethemainkindsoffastfoodmealsandbeveragesusuallyeatenbygirls.Adolescent girlswhousuallyatelargeportionsizesoffastfoodhadsignificantlyhighermeanwaist circumferenceandhipcircumference.Participantseatfastfoodprimarilyforenjoyingthedelicious taste,followedbyconvenience.Restaurants’hygieneandsafetystandardswerethemainconcern

regardingfastfoodfor62.2%ofgirls.Finally,internationalrestaurantswerepreferableby

participantstobuyfastfoodcomparedwithlocalrestaurants(70.9%vs.29.1%).

Conclusion:Ourfindingsprovideevidenceonthehighprevalenceoffastfoodconsumption

amongSaudigirls,suggestinganurgentneedforcommunity­basednutritioninterventionsthat

considerthetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionandtargetedeatingbehaviorsofadolescentand

youngadultgirls.

Keywords:fastfood;restaurants;adolescent;youngadult;SaudiArabia

ResponsibleEditor:SeppoSalminen,UniversityofTurku,Finland.

Received:1November2014;Revised:29January2015;Accepted:19February2015;Published:

18March2015

Food&NutritionResearch2015.©2015NoraA.ALFarisetal.ThisisanOpenAccessarticle

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/),allowingthirdpartiestocopyandredistributethe

materialinanymediumorformatandtoremix,transform,andbuilduponthematerialforany

purpose,evencommercially,providedtheoriginalworkisproperlycitedandstatesitslicense.

Citation:Food&NutritionResearch2015,59:26488­http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.26488

Adolescenceisacruciallifestagecharacterizedbydramaticmodificationsinlifestylepatterns. Thesemodificationsincludemoreunhealthyfoodchoices,eatingoutsidethehome(mainlyatfast foodrestaurants),sedentarybehaviors,andphysicalinactivity,especiallyamonggirls,allofwhich

putadolescentsatnutritionalrisk(1,2).Manyofteenagers’dietarybehaviorsmayberelatedto

somedistortedperceptionsadoptedbythem.Astudyreportedthatadolescentgirlsassociated consumptionoffastfoodwithpleasure,friends,andindependence,whiletheyassociated

consumptionofhealthyfoodwithparentsandbeingathome(3).Currentdataemphasizedthat

environmentalinfluences,especiallyfamily,hadimportanteffectsoneatinghabits,weightgain,and

physicalactivityduringthetransitionfromadolescencetoadulthood(4,5).Whenadolescentsform

certaindietarybehaviors,theywillmaintainthesebehaviorsevenafterbecomingadultsand

establishingnewhouseholdsthatareindependentoftheirparentsandfamily(5).Therefore,if

healthfuldietarybehaviorsarenotwellformedinadolescentsandundesirablelifestylepatterns persistedduringthetransitiontoadulthood,thesebehaviorsmaycarryoutforalifetime,which

wouldincreasetheriskforchronicnon­communicablediseasessuchasobesity(68).

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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

Fastfoodtypicallyreferstofoodthatisquicklyprepared,purchasedinself­servicefrom restaurantswithprecookedingredients,andservedinapackagedformtothecustomertotake­

awaysuchasburgers,Frenchfries,andpizza(9).Fastfoodfirstpopularizedinthe1970sinthe

UnitedStates,whichhastodaythelargestfastfoodindustryintheworld.Americanconsumption

offoodpreparedoutsidehomeincreasedfrom18%within1977–1978to32%within1994–1996of

totalenergy.Inaddition,mealsandsnacksbasedonfoodpreparedoutsidehomecontainedmore calories,andwerehigherintotalfatandsaturatedfatandlowerindietaryfiber,calcium,andiron,

thanhome­madefoods(10).Moreover,astrongpositiveassociationhasbeenreportedbetween

fastfoodconsumptionandbothweightgainandinsulinresistance,suggestingthatfastfood

increasestherisksofobesityandtype2diabetes(11).

Adolescentsandyoungadultsformthemainconsumersforfastfoodmealscomparedwitholder

people(2,12).Astaste,timeconsiderations,convenience,andcostaremajorfactorsthat

contributetoanadolescent’soryoungadult’sfoodchoices,fastfoodrestaurantsserveaspopular

sitesfortheirmealseatenoutsidethehome(13,14).Fastfoodcontainsmorefat,saturatedfat,

addedsugars,addedsalt,andenergyandlessdietaryfiber;therefore,eatingfastfoodseemsto

haveanadverseeffectondietquality(1517).Frenchetal.(18)investigatedfastfood

consumptionamong4,746schoolstudentsaged11to18yearsandreportedthatabout75%of

adolescentsateatfastfoodrestaurantsduringtheweekprevioustothesurvey.Moreover, consumingfastfoodwasassociatedwithlowerintakesoffruits,vegetables,andmilk.Inthesame

way,MorseandDriskell(19)examinedthetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongcollege

students.Theirresultsclarifiedthatmostyoungadultshavereportedeatingmealsatfastfood

restaurants1–3timesweekly.Ina10­yearlongitudinalstudy,Schmidtetal.(20)examinedthe

trendsoffastfoodconsumptionanditsrelationshiptodietqualityamongblackandwhite

adolescentgirls.Theyfoundthatfastfoodintakewaspositivelyassociatedwithintakeofenergy,

sodium,totalfat,andsaturatedfat.Inaddition,thefrequencyoffastfoodconsumptionincreased

withageinbothraces.

Saudicultureisstronglyreligious,conservative,andfamilyoriented.Whilewomen’sstatusishigh inthefamily,especiallyintherolesofmothersandsisters,womenusuallyremainoutofpublic viewandcontactonlywiththeirrelatedmen.Inthepublicrestaurants,womenarerequiredtouse speciallydesignatedfamilysections.Consequently,forwomen,eatinginrestaurantsmeansmore thanconsumingamealforhunger.Itisanopportunitytogooutsidethehomeandgatherwith familyorfemalefriends.Inaddition,femalestudentsreportedahigherprevalenceofdieting, greaterpositiveattitudestowardhealthyeating,andgreaterinterestintheirhealth,bodyweight, andbodyimagethantheirmalecounterparts.Consequently,femalestudentsaremorelikelytobe

respondentsfornutritioneducationprograms(2123).Therefore,thepurposeofthisreportwasto

studythetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionofagroupofadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlsand

tocomparebetweenthem.Itwasbasedontwohypotheses.First,fastfoodconsumptionis

commonamongSaudigirls.Second,adolescentsandyoungadultsmayhavedifferencesintrends

offastfoodconsumptionasfastfoodeatingmaychangewithage.

METHODS

Designandparticipants

Thecurrentstudyisacross­sectionalsurveyconductedduringMarch–April,2010inRiyadh,the

capitalcityofSaudiArabia.AlloftheparticipantsareSaudigirls,aged13–29years,schoolor

collegestudents,andlivinginRiyadh,andtheywererandomlyselected.Theadolescentgirls(13–

18years)wererecruitedfromtheintermediateandsecondaryschoolcomplexinPrincessNourah

BintAbdulrahmanUniversity,whereastheyoungadultgirls(19–29years)wererecruitedfromthe

campusofPrincessNourahBintAbdulrahmanUniversity.Onehundredandninety­sixgirlsagreed

toparticipateinthisstudyafterobtainingawrittenconsentinaccordancewiththeHelsinki

Declaration.ThestudywasapprovedbytheNutritionandFoodScienceDepartment,Collegeof

HomeEconomics,PrincessNourahBintAbdulrahmanUniversity,Riyadh,SaudiArabia.

Anthropometricmeasurements

Bodyweightwasmeasuredwithminimalclothingandwithoutshoestothenearest0.1kgusinga

calibratedportablescale.Heightwasmeasuredtothenearest1cmusingastadiometer,whilethe

subjectwasinafullstandingpositionwithoutshoes.Bodymassindex(BMI)wascalculatedasthe ratioofweight(kg)toheight(m 2 ).Waistcircumferencewasmeasuredathalfwaybetweenthe lowerborderoftheribsandtheiliaccrestinahorizontalplane.Hipcircumferencewasmeasured atthewidestpointoverthebuttocks.Bothwaistandhipcircumferencesweremeasuredusinga

non­stretchabletapetothenearest1cm.Thewaist–hipratiowascalculatedastheratioofwaist

circumferencetohipcircumference.

Dietarydatacollection

Habitualnutrientsintakewasassessedusing24hdietrecallforthepreviousday.Anutrient

analysissoftwareprogramwasused(FoodProcessorforWindows,version7.71,ESHA

Research,Salem,OR,USA)toestimatethedailyintakeofseveralnutrientsforeachparticipantin theformofthenutrientadequacyratio(NAR),whichistheratioofactualnutrientintaketothe

recommendedintakeofthatnutrientbasedondietaryreferenceintakes(DRIs)(24).

Adescriptivefoodquestionnairewasdesignedbytheresearcherstostudythetrendsoffastfood

consumption.Facevalidityforthequestionnairewasassessedbyusingapilot­testedgroupof20

participantsfromthetargetpopulationtoensurethatthequestionsareunderstandable.Aface­to­ faceinterviewquestionnairewasperformedwiththerespondentsafterdefiningfastfoodandgiving themanoverviewaboutthestudy.Thesocio­demographicvariableswerecollectedfrom participants,whichincludedagegroup,familysizeandincome,andparents’educationallevel.The

questionnaireinvestigatedthetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionbyusing16items,dividedintothree

parts;fastfoodconsumptionpattern(7items),attitudetowardfastfood(5items),andfastfood

restaurantuse(4items).

Dataanalysis

TheStatisticalPackageforSocialSciences(SPSSInc.,Chicago,IL,USA)version21wasused

fordataanalysis.Categoricalvariableswereexpressedasnumbersandpercentages,and analyzedusingachi­squaretest.Continuousvariableswereexpressedasmeansandstandard deviations,andanalyzedusingaone­wayANOVAtest.Allreportedpvaluesweremadeonthe

basisoftwo­tailedtests.Differenceswereconsideredstatisticallysignificantatp<0.05.

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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

RESULTS

Socio­demographicandanthropometriccharacteristics

Thisstudyincludes196Saudigirls;64.8%ofthemwereadolescentschoolstudentsaged13–18

years,andtherestofthemwereyoungadultcollegestudentsaged19–29years(Table1).Mostof

theparticipantshavealargefamilysizeconsistingofatleastsixmembers,andhighfamilyincome

exceeds2,000USD.Furthermore,43.4%ofmothersand67.9%offathersearnedacollege

educationorhigher.However,therearenosignificantdifferencesbetweenbothagegroups

regardinganyoftheabove­mentionedcharacteristics.ThemeanBMIofyoungadultgirls(23.6)

washigherthanthatofadolescentgirls(22.4)butnotsignificantly.However,meanwaist

circumferenceandhipcircumferenceweresignificantlyhigheramongyoungadultgirlscompared

toadolescentgirls.

Table1. Thesocio­demographicandanthropometriccharacteristicsofparticipants

Adolescents(13–18 Youngadults(19–29

Total(13–29

Variables

years)

years)

years)

p

Agegroup Familysize a

127(100%)

69(100%)

196(100%)

5membersorless

22(17.3%)

15(21.7%)

37(18.9%) 0.450

6membersormore

105(82.7%)

54(78.3%)

159(81.1%)

Familyincome a

2,000USDorless

38(29.9%)

21(30.4%)

59(30.1%) 1.000

Morethan2,000USD

89(70.1%)

48(69.6%)

137(69.9%)

Mother’seducationlevel a Secondaryschooleducation orless Collegeeducationorhigher Father’seducationlevel a Secondaryschooleducation orless Collegeeducationorhigher Anthropometric measurements b Height(cm) Weight(kg) Bodymassindex(kg/m 2 ) Waistcircumference(cm) Hipcircumference(cm) Waist–hipratio

72(56.7%)

39(56.5%)

111(56.6%) 0.706

55(43.3%)

30(43.5%)

85(43.4%)

42(33.1%)

21(30.4%)

63(32.1%) 0.982

85(66.9%)

48(69.6%)

133(67.9%)

157.9(6.5)

159.5(6.0)

158.4(6.4) 0.085

55.7(11.3)

60.0(11.9)

57.2(11.7) 0.013

22.4(4.4)

23.6(4.6)

22.8(4.5) 0.074

73.1(11.7)

78.9(13.4)

75.1(12.6) 0.002

96.3(14.2)

101.5(18.2)

98.1(15.9) 0.029

0.77(0.11)

0.78(0.10)

0.77(0.11) 0.236

a Categoricalvariableswereexpressedasnumbersandpercentages,andanalyzedusingachi­ squaretest. b Continuousvariableswereexpressedasmeansandstandarddeviations,and analyzedusingaone­wayANOVAtest.

Nutrientsintake

ThemeanNARofproteinwas1.84and1.58foradolescentandyoungadultgirls,respectively,

whichindicatesthatproteinintakemetthedietaryrequirementinmostsubjects(Table2).

Riboflavinwastheonlyvitaminforwhichmostoftheparticipantsachievedadequateintake(mean

NARwas2.41).Similarly,mostgirls’intakeofiron,sodium,andphosphorus(foradolescentgirls

only)wasadequate.However,mostgirlsexhibitlowintakeofseveralothervitaminsandminerals, especiallypantothenicacid,biotin,folicacid,vitaminD,vitaminE,selenium,andmanganese,as

meanNARwaslowerthan1.0.Moreover,meanNARsofvitaminC,calcium,phosphorus,

potassium,andsodiumweresignificantlyhigheramongadolescentgirlscomparedtoyoungadult

girls.

Table2. Participants’nutrientadequacyratio(NAR)ofseveralnutrients

 

Nutrients

Adolescents,mean(SD) Youngadults,mean(SD) Total,mean(SD) p a

Protein

1.84(1.40)

1.58(1.05)

1.75(1.29)

0.192

Thiamin

0.68(1.15)

0.42(0.45)

0.59(0.97)

0.071

Riboflavin

2.56(3.72)

2.14(3.34)

2.41(3.59)

0.427

Niacin

0.72(1.80)

0.40(0.65)

0.61(1.50)

0.152

Pantothenicacid

0.04(0.09)

0.06(0.14)

0.05(0.11)

0.355

Biotin

0.02(0.04)

0.03(0.11)

0.02(0.07)

0.229

Folicacid

0.03(0.08)

0.03(0.08)

0.03(0.08)

0.797

VitaminB6

0.16(0.65)

0.09(0.22)

0.13(0.54)

0.399

VitaminB12

0.27(0.46)

0.35(0.73)

0.30(0.58)

0.328

VitaminC

0.33(0.53)

0.17(0.31)

0.27(0.47)

0.029

VitaminA

0.45(0.49)

0.39(0.39)

0.43(0.46)

0.449

VitaminD

0.0004(0.004)

0.01(0.03)

0.002(0.02) 0.078

VitaminE

0.02(0.04)

0.02(0.04)

0.02(0.04)

0.947

Iron

1.21(1.10)

1.04(0.98)

1.14(1.06)

0.289

Calcium

0.55(0.74)

0.28(0.21)

0.46(0.62)

0.003

Phosphorus

1.72(3.37)

0.74(0.63)

1.37(2.77)

0.018

Potassium

0.71(1.61)

0.27(0.27)

0.55(1.32)

0.024

Magnesium

0.33(1.09)

0.16(0.26)

0.27(0.89)

0.211

Zinc

0.18(0.39)

0.18(0.35)

0.18(0.37)

0.877

Sodium

2.18(3.82)

1.18(1.01)

1.83(3.17)

0.035

Selenium

0.05(0.30)

0.02(0.11)

0.04(0.25)

0.436

Manganese

0.02(0.10)

0.05(0.12)

0.03(0.10)

0.210

a Continuousvariableswereexpressedasmeansandstandarddeviations,andanalyzedusinga

one­wayANOVAtest.

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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

Fastfoodconsumptionpattern

Resultsshowedthatthevastmajorityoftheparticipants(95.4%)eatrestaurantfastfood(Table3).

Fastfoodwasconsumedonceperweekby52.8%ofadolescentgirlsand60.9%ofyoungadult

girls.Moreover,25.2%ofadolescentgirlsand20.3%ofyoungadultgirlsconsumedfastfoodtwice

ormoreweekly.Intotal,79.1%ofthesampleeatsfastfoodatleastonceweekly.Beeforchicken

burgerswerethemainkindsoffastfoodmealsusuallyeatenbythesamplesubjects(70.4%),

followedbypizza(32.7%)andFrenchfries(29.6%).Asignificantlyhigherrateofyoungadultthan

adolescentgirlsreportedeatingpizzausually(49.3%vs.23.6%).Ontheotherhand,only4.1%of

theparticipantsusuallyconsumehotdog.Regardingportionsize,mostoftheparticipantsusually

orderedeithersmall(37.2%)ormedium(44.9%)portionsizesoffastfoodmeals.However,the

largeportionsizewasthechoicefor17.9%ofparticipants.Adolescentgirlswhousuallyeatthe

largeportionsizeoffastfoodhadsignificantlyhighermeanwaistcircumference(p=0.006)and

meanhipcircumference(p=0.001)(Fig.1).Interestingly,carbonatedsoftdrinkswerethemain

beveragesusuallyconsumedwithfastfoodmealsbybothadolescentandyoungadultgirls(89

and75.4%,respectively),butotherbeveragessuchascoffee,tea,sweetenedfruitdrinks,or

energydrinkswererarelyconsumedwithfastfood.Finally,weekendsandeveningswerethe

frequenttimeswhentheparticipantsoftenconsumedfastfoodmeals.

frequenttimeswhentheparticipantsoftenconsumedfastfoodmeals. Fig.1

Fig.1.Thismeansplotsdiagramillustratestherelationshipbetweenthemeanofwaist

circumference(A)andmeanofhipcircumference(B)ofadolescentgirlsandusuallyordered

portionsizeoffastfood.

Table3. Participants’responsesforpart1ofthefastfoodquestionnaire(regardingfastfood consumptionpatterns)

Adolescents, Youngadults, Total,N

Questionsaskedandanswerlevels

N(%)

N(%)

(%)

p a

1.Doyoueatrestaurantsfastfoodregularly?

A.Yes

121(95.3%) 66(95.7%)

187

0.904

 

(95.4%)

B.No/sometimes

6(4.7%)

3(4.3%) 9(4.6%)

 

2.Howoftendoyouconsumefastfood?

A.Oncepermonthorless

28(22%)

13(18.8%)

41

0.547

 

(20.9%)

B.Onceperweek

67(52.8%)

42(60.9%)

109

 

(55.6%)

C.Twiceperweekormore

32(25.2%)

14(20.3%)

46

 

(23.5%)

3.Doyouusuallyeateachofthefollowingfast

foods?(Yesorno)

A.Beeforchickenburger(yes)

93(73.2%)

45(65.2%)

138

0.241

 

(70.4%)

B.Pizza(yes)

30(23.6%)

34(49.3%)

64

<0.001

 

(32.7%)

C.Frenchfries(yes)

33(26%)

25(36.2%)

58

0.133

 

(29.6%)

D.Hotdog(yes)

5(3.9%)

3(4.3%) 8(4.1%) 0.890

E.Doughnuts(yes)

13(10.2%)

14(20.3%)

27

0.051

 

(13.8%)

F.Croissant(yes)

9(7.1%)

7(10.1%)

16

0.455

4.Whichportionsizeoffastfooddoyouusually

eat?

(8.2%)

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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

A.Small(regular)

44(34.6%)

29(42%)

73

0.502

 

(37.2%)

B.Medium

58(45.7%)

30(43.5%)

88

 

(44.9%)

C.Large

25(19.7%)

10(14.5%)

35

 

(17.9%)

5.Whatkindofbeveragesdoyouusuallydrink

withfastfood?

A.Carbonatedsoftdrinks

113(89%)

52(75.4%)

165

0.167

 

(84.2%)

B.Coffeeortea

1(0.8%)

2(2.9%) 3(1.5%)

 

C.Freshfruitjuices

10(7.9%)

12(17.4%)

22

 

(11.2%)

D.Sweetenedfruitdrinks E.Energydrinks

2(1.6%)

2(2.9%)

4(2%)

1(0.8%)

1(1.4%)

2(1%)

6.Whendoyouusuallyconsumefastfoodduring

theweek?

A.Beginningoftheweek

1(0.8%)

1(1.4%)

2(1%) 0.890

B.Middleoftheweek

6(4.7%)

3(4.3%) 9(4.6%)

 

C.Weekend

76(59.8%)

38(55.1%)

114

 

(58.2%)

D.Nospecifictime

44(34.6%)

27(39.1%)

71

 

(36.2%)

7.Whendoyouusuallyconsumefastfoodduring

theday?

A.Morning

0(0%)

2(2.9%)

2(1%) 0.179

B.Afternoon

2(1.6%)

2(2.9%)

4(2%)

C.Evening

83(65.4%)

39(56.5%)

122

 

(62.2%)

D.Nospecifictime

42(33.1%)

26(37.7%)

68

 

(34.7%)

a Categoricalvariableswereexpressedasnumbersandpercentages,andanalyzedusingachi­

squaretest.

Attitudetowardfastfood

AsmentionedinTable4,theparticipantseatfastfoodprimarilyforenjoyingthedelicioustaste,

followedbyconvenience.Adolescentgirlshadgreaterinterestintastecomparedwithyoungadult

girls(55.9%vs.42%).Incontrast,youngadultgirlsweremoreconcernedaboutconveniencethan

adolescentgirls(34.8%vs.19.7%).Restaurants’hygieneandsafetystandardswerethemain

concernregardingfastfoodfor62.2%ofgirls,andtherestaurant’slocationwasthemainconcern

foranother19.9%ofthem.Asexpected,mostparticipantsevaluatedthetasteoffastfoodas

excellent(80.6%)andthepriceoffastfoodasacceptable(82.7%).Asignificantlyhigher

percentageofadolescentgirls(85.8%)thanyoungadultgirls(71%)foundthatfastfoodmealsare

ofexcellenttaste.Surprisingly,morethanhalfofthegirls(53.1%)believedthatfastfoodhaseither

highoracceptablenutritionalvalue.Inaddition,27.6%ofparticipantshadnoideaaboutthe

nutritionalvalueoffastfood.Finally,ahigherrateofyoungadultgirls(27.5%)thanadolescentgirls

(15%)believedthatfastfoodhaslownutritionalvalue.

Table4. Participants’responseforpart2ofthefastfoodquestionnaire(regardingattitudetoward fastfood)

Adolescents,N Youngadults,N Total,N

Questionsaskedandanswerlevels

(%)

(%)

(%)

p a

1.Whydoyoueatfastfood?

A.Delicioustaste

71(55.9%)

29(42%)

100

0.188

 

(51%)

B.Attractiveadvertisements

12(9.4%)

7(10.1%) 19(9.7%)

 

C.Diversityoffastfoodtypes

13(10.2%)

7(10.1%)

20

 

(10.2%)

D.Convenience E.Availabilityoffastfoodrestaurants

25(19.7%)

24(34.8%) 49(25%)

 

6(4.7%)

2(2.9%)

8(4.1%)

2.Whichissueconcernsyouthemostregarding

fastfood?

A.Restaurant’shygieneandsafety

79(62.2%)

43(62.3%)

122

0.788

 

(62.2%)

B.Restaurant’slocation

27(21.3%)

12(17.4%)

39

 

(19.9%)

C.Restaurant’sstaff D.Price E.Quality F.Nutritionalvalue

6(4.7%)

4(5.8%)

10(5.1%)

1(0.8%)

2(2.9%)

3(1.5%)

11(8.7%)

5(7.2%)

16(8.2%)

3(2.4%)

3(4.3%)

6(3.1%)

3.Howdoyoufindthetasteoffastfood?

A.Excellent

109(85.8%)

49(71%)

158

0.021

 

(80.6%)

B.Acceptable

15(11.8%)

19(27.5%)

34

 

(17.3%)

C.Bad

3(2.4%)

1(1.4%)

4(2%)

4.Howdoyoufindthepriceoffastfood?

A.High

17(13.4%)

9(13%)

26

0.989

 

(13.3%)

B.Acceptable

105(82.7%)

57(82.6%)

162

 

(82.7%)

C.Low

5(3.9%)

3(4.3%)

8(4.1%)

5.Howdoyoufindthenutritionalvalueoffast

food?

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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

A.High

18(14.2%)

7(10.1%)

25

0.097

 

(12.8%)

B.Acceptable

50(39.4%)

29(42%)

79

 

(40.3%)

C.Low

19(15%)

19(27.5%)

38

 

(19.4%)

D.Don’tknow

40(31.5%)

14(20.3%)

54

(27.6%)

a Categoricalvariableswereexpressedasnumbersandpercentages,andanalyzedusingachi­

squaretest.

Fastfoodrestaurantuse

Ourresultsrevealedthatthevastmajorityofthesubjects(92.9%)purchasedfastfoodmealsfrom

severalrestaurants(Table5).However,asignificantlyhigherrateofadolescentgirls(10.2%)than

youngadultgirls(1.4%)usuallypurchasedfastfoodmealsfromaspecificrestaurant.International

restaurantswerepreferablebyparticipantsforbuyingfastfoodcomparedwithlocalrestaurants

(70.9%vs.29.1%).Enjoyingthedelicioustasteoffastfoodmealsservedbyinternational

restaurantswasthemajorreasonforpreferringtheserestaurantsbybothagegroups(44.9%).On

theotherhand,girlswhopreferredlocalrestaurantshadmainlytworeasons:delicioustaste

(11.2%)andethicalissuesrelatedtoensuringthattheofferedfoodsareHalal(13.8%).

Table5. Participants’responseforpart3ofthefastfoodquestionnaire(regardingtheuseoffast foodrestaurants)

Questionsaskedandanswerlevels

Adolescents,N Youngadults,N

(%)

(%)

Total,N

(%)

p a

1.Didyoubuyfastfoodfromaspecific

restaurant?

A.Yes

13(10.2%)

1(1.4%)

14(7.1%)0.023

B.No

114(89.8%)

68(98.6%)

182

 

(92.9%)

2.Fromwheredoyouusuallybuyfastfood?

A.Localrestaurants

34(26.8%)

23(33.3%) 57(29.1%)0.334

B.Internationalrestaurants

93(73.2%)

46(66.7%)

139

 

(70.9%)

3.Ifyoupreferlocalrestaurants,why?

A.Cheaperprice B.Ethicalissues C.Encouragenationalproduction D.Delicioustaste

3(2.4%)

0(0%)

3(1.5%) 0.367

15(11.8%)

12(17.4%) 27(13.8%)

2(1.6%)

3(4.3%)

5(2.6%)

14(11%)

8(11.6%)

22(11.2%)

4.Ifyoupreferinternationalrestaurants,

why?

A.Delicioustaste

57(44.9%)

31(44.9%) 88(44.9%)0.754

B.Originalsourceofproduct

11(8.7%)

4(5.8%)

15(7.7%)

C.Betterservices

25(19.7%)

11(15.9%) 36(18.4%)

a Categoricalvariableswereexpressedasnumbersandpercentages,andanalyzedusingachi­

squaretest.

DISCUSSION

ThisstudyhighlightedthehighprevalenceoffastfoodrestaurantuseamongSaudigirlswhoare eitheradolescentsoryoungadults.Overthepastfewdecades,SaudiArabianshavepassed throughdramaticlifestylechanges.Thesechangeshavebeenrepresentedintwoforms:dietary patternsandsedentarylifestyles.Dietarypatternstodayhavemoreenergy­densefoodssuchas fastfoodandsugar­sweetenedbeveragesattheexpenseofnutrient­densefoodssuchasfruits

andvegetables,especiallyamongadolescentsandyoungadults(25,26).Furthermore,sedentary

lifestylesarebecomingparticularlyprevalentamongSaudipeople,especiallyfemales,asmostof

themdonotengageinphysicalactivityofsufficientdurationandfrequency(27).Recently,Al­

Hazzaaetal.(28)reportedthatabout25%ofSaudiadolescentgirlsconsumedfastfoodsmore

thanthreetimesperweek,whereas6%ofthematefastfoodsonadailybasis.Likewise,Alfawaz

(29)investigatedfastfoodconsumptionpatternsamongfemalecollegestudentsinSaudiArabia

andreportedthatabout75%ofthemconsumedfastfoods1–2timesweekly.

HamburgersandFrenchfriesaretheproductsmostsoldbyfastfoodindustryleadersinwestern

countries(30).BecauseporkmeatconsumptionisprohibitedinIslamicsociety,hamburgermade

ofporkmeatisnotavailableintheSaudimarket.However,otherburgers(beeforchicken)not onlywereavailablebutalsowerethemainkindsoffastfoodusuallyeatenbySaudigirls,asour resultssuggested.Similarly,burgerswerereportedamongpopularchoicesforAmericancollege

studentsatfastfoodrestaurants(31).Asexpected,carbonatedsoftdrinkswerethemain

beveragesusuallyconsumedwithfastfoodmealsbySaudigirls.Thisfindingagreedwithprevious

studies.Driskelletal.(31)foundthatcarbonatedsodahasbeenreportedtobethemostfrequently

orderedbeveragewithfastfoodmealsbyfemalecollegestudents.Bowman(32)reportedthatfast

foodrestaurantsprovided25%ofthecarbonatedsodaconsumedbyadolescentgirls.InSaudi

Arabia,Al­Hazzaaetal.(28)revealedthatabout60%ofSaudiadolescentgirlsconsumedsugar­

sweeteneddrinksmorethan3daysperweek,and31%ofgirlsconsumedthemonadailybasis.

Inourstudy,mostgirlsusuallyorderedeithersmall(37.2%)ormedium(44.9%)portionsizesof

fastfoodmeals.Apreviousstudyfoundthat53%ofcollegegirlsreportedconsideringsmaller

portionsizesoffastfood(31).However,17.9%oftheparticipantstypicallyeatthelargeportion

size.Largefoodportionsavailableatfastfoodrestaurantsareaconsiderableconcernduetotheir

highenergycontent(33),forexamplelargeorderofFrenchfries(7.0ounces)provides610

kcaloriescomparedwith210kcaloriesinasmallportionsize(2.4ounces)(34).Therefore,ithas

beenrecommendedthatattentionshouldbepaidtotheportionsizeoffoodsandbeveragesoffered

atrestaurants(35).Additionally,policyapproachesandgovernmentregulationsareneededto

reduceenergyintakefromfastfoodasmostfastfoodchainsdonotrespondeffectivelytohealth

authorities’callstoreducetheportionsizeoftheirmenuitems(36,37).Saudigirlsoftenconsumed

fastfoodintheweekendsandevenings.Thismaybeduetogatheringswithfamilyandfriends.

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TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

Driskelletal.(31)clarifiedthatmostfemalecollegestudentsreportedtypicallyeatingfastfoodat

leastonceweeklyatlunch(about60%)anddinner(about75%),butrarelyatbreakfast.

Uniquely,adolescentandyoungadultgirlsagreedthatrestauranthygieneandsafetycomprised themainissueofconcernregardingfastfoodmeals.InSaudiArabia,therehasbeenasteady increaseinfood­poisoningaccidentsassociatedwithfastfoodrestaurants,especiallyinthe warmerclimateduringthesummermonths.Meatandchickenwerereportedasthemainitemsto

causetheseaccidents(38,39).Severalstudiesreportedthatfoodhandlersinrestaurantsoften

hadalackofknowledgeandnotrainingregardingfoodhygieneandsafety(40,41).Thatsuggests

aneedforeducationtrainingcoursestargetingfoodhandlerstoincreasetheirawareness

regardingsafefood­handlingpractices(42).

Saudigirlseatfastfoodprimarilyforenjoyingthedelicioustaste,followedbyconvenience.The sameprimaryreasonswerereportedamongAmericancollegestudentswithreverseorder,as

theywerechoosingtoeatfastfoodforlimitedtime,followedbyenjoymentofthetaste(31).Ina

nationalrepresentativesampleofAmericans,astudyrevealedthattasteisthemostimportant influenceonfoodchoices.Equallyimportant,nutritionalconcernsareoflessrelevancetomost

people’sfoodchoicesthantaste(43).Only19.4%ofparticipantsbelievedthatfastfoodhaslow

nutritionalvalue.Inthesamefashion,35%ofAmericancollegegirlsindicatedthatnutrition

informationinfluencedthechoicestheymaderegardingfastfood(31).Currentapproaches

suggestthatfastfoodrestaurantsshouldberequiredtoclarifynutritioninformationsuchasenergy andfatcontentontheirmenuboardsandonproductpackaging.Thisisimportanttohelpthe

consumertomakebetterfoodchoicesbeforepurchasing(44).TheNewYorkCityBoardofHealth

wasthefirstgovernmentauthoritytoapproveacalorie­labelingregulation,in2006.Thisregulation

requireschainrestaurants’menustocontaindetailsoftheenergycontentofallmenuitems(45).

Dumanovskyandcolleagues(46)assessedtheimpactofaddingcalorielabelingtomenuitemsby

fastfoodrestaurantsontheenergycontentofindividualpurchasesbeforeandafterfull

implementationofthementionedregulation.Theyfoundthatseveralmajorchainsreported

significantreductionsafterregulation;oneinsixlunchtimecustomersusedthecalorieinformation

provided,andthesecustomersmadelower­caloriechoices.

Today,internationalfastfoodrestaurantsarelocatedinover90countriesworldwide,including

SaudiArabia.Forexample,McDonald’sisnowoperatingachainofbranchesin21Saudicities,

with62branchesinRiyadhalone(http://www.mcdonaldsarabia.com).Thebrandnameoffoods

andbeveragesinfluencesconsumers’tasteperceptionsandconsequentlytheirfoodchoices(47,

48).ThismayexplainwhySaudigirlspreferredinternationalrestaurantstobuyfastfood,asthey

determinedenjoyingthedelicioustasteasamainreasontochoosefromtheirmenuitems.Onthe otherhand,localfastfoodrestaurantshaveahugediversityinmenusandsize,fromrestaurants withasmallsinglebranchtorestaurantchainswithmultiplebranches.Forexample,KuduinSaudi

Arabiahasbranchesin38cities,with50branchesinRiyadhalone(http://www.kudu.com.sa).The

culturalandethicalbackgroundsofconsumersaffecttheirperceptionsandfoodchoices(48).

Saudigirlswhopreferredlocalrestaurantsexhibitedconcernsaboutethicalissuestoensurethat

thefastfoodisHalalinadditiontoenjoyingthedelicioustaste.

Anadequate,nutritious,andbalanceddietisessentialtomaintainhealthforone’slifetime.To achievethishealthydiet,fastfoodconsumptionshouldbelimited.Hence,nutrition­related educationalinterventionsareimportanttoimprovethedietaryhabitsandfoodchoicesof adolescentoryoungadultgirls.Interestingly,currentevidenceemphasizedthatsignificantand beneficialchangesindietaryhabitshavebeenexperiencedbyschoolandcollegestudentsafter

theimplementationofinteractiveandeffectivenutritioninterventionprograms(49,50).Schoolsand

collegesareappropriatesettingsforcontactingmostadolescentsandyoungadultscontinuously andinaconcentratedway.Therefore,theyareconsideredoneofthebestavenuesfornutrition

educationinterventionstargetingthesetwoagegroups(50,51).Severaltechniquesofnutrition

interventionsweresuggestedaseffectivedeliverymedia.Thesetechniquesincludeusing

educationallectures,usingweb­basededucation,andprovidingdietarysupplements(50).Some

nutritioninterventionscouldbetraditionallecturescombinedwithhands­onactivitiesthatfocuson selectinghealthiermenuoptionsfromafastfoodrestaurant.Othernutritioninterventionscanuse debatelecturesonnutritionaltreatmentsandcookingclassestoteachstudentshowtoprepare

tasty,convenient,andnutritiousalternativestofastfood(49,50).TheInternetisbecoming

increasinglycentraltoadolescents’andyoungadults’lifestylepatterns.Webapplicationsand socialmediamakeitpossibleforhealthpromotioninitiativestoreachalargeaudienceinashort time.Therefore,theInternetisanimportantvehicletodelivermessagesconcerningnutrition

informationofhealthierfoodchoicesanddifferenttypesoffastfoodmeals(52).Dietary

supplementscanbeincorporatedwithnutritioneducationprogramsinordertoenhancehealth

outcomes,especiallyamonggroupsatnutritionalrisk(50).

Limitationstothisstudyincludetherelativelysmallsamplesizeandcross­sectionaldesign.

However,ourstudyhasanumberofstrengths.Thisisthefirstattempt,toourknowledge,to

investigatethetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlsin

onestudyunderthesameprocedureandbyusingthesametools.Furthermore,usingaface­to­

faceinterviewquestionnaireinsteadofaself­reportedquestionnairehelpstoclarify

misunderstanding,enhancetheresponserate,andreducepossiblebias.

CONCLUSION

Insummary,fastfoodhasbecomeanimportantcomponentofthedietarypatternforSaudigirls,

whetheradolescentsoryoungadults,andtheirfastfoodeatingislikelytocontinueandrise.The

growingwidespreaduseoffastfoodamongadolescentsandyoungadultsisofconcernduetothe

highfatandenergyintake,whichmaycauseobesityandsubsequentlyobesity­relatedchronic

diseases.Community­basednutritioneducationinterventionstargetingtheeatingbehaviorsof

adolescentandyoungadultgirlsareurgentlyneeded.Theseinterventionsshouldincorporate

specificcomponentsthataddressthetrendsoffastfoodconsumptionoftheseagegroups.Itis

moreeffectivetotargetissuesrelatedtothepreparationoftasty,convenient,andnutritious

alternativestofastfoodandtheselectionofhealthiermenuoptionsfromafastfoodrestaurant

ratherthantosolelytargettheunhealthinessoffastfood.Portionsizeselectionandfrequencyof

fastfoodeatingmightalsobetargetedbynutritioneducationcampaignsthatareconcernedabout

controllingdailyintakefromfatandcalories.Also,itisadvisedtomakeadolescentsandyoung

adultsawareoftheimportanceofmakinghealthierfoodchoicescomposedofnutrient­densefoods

suchasfruitandvegetablesoneatingoccasionsotherthanthoseatfastfoodrestaurants.Finally,

governmentlegislationisneededtoregulatethemarketingoffastfoodandtoeliminatefastfood

fromschoolsandcolleges.

9/2/2016

TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Theauthorswouldliketothankallstudentswhoparticipatedinthisstudy.

CONFLICTOFINTERESTANDFUNDING

Theauthorsdeclarenoconflictofinterestandfunding.

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*

NoraA.ALFaris NutritionandFoodScienceDepartment CollegeofHomeEconomics PrincessNourahBintAbdulrahmanUniversity

P.O.Box27938

Riyadh11427

SaudiArabia

Riyadh11427 SaudiArabia Email: naalfaris@pnu.edu.sa AboutTheAuthors NoraA.ALFaris

AboutTheAuthors

NoraA.ALFaris

NutritionandFoodScienceDepartment,CollegeofHomeEconomics,PrincessNourahBint

AbdulrahmanUniversity,Riyadh,SaudiArabia

SaudiArabia

JozaaZ.Al­Tamimi

NutritionandFoodScienceDepartment,CollegeofHomeEconomics,PrincessNourahBint

AbdulrahmanUniversity,Riyadh,SaudiArabia

SaudiArabia

9/2/2016

TrendsoffastfoodconsumptionamongadolescentandyoungadultSaudigirlslivinginRiyadh|ALFaris|Food&NutritionResearch

MoneeraO.Al­Jobair

NutritionandFoodScienceDepartment,CollegeofHomeEconomics,PrincessNourahBint

AbdulrahmanUniversity,Riyadh,SaudiArabia

SaudiArabia

NaseemM.Al­Shwaiyat

DepartmentofClinicalNutrition,CollegeofAppliedHealthSciencesinArrass,QassimUniversity,

SaudiArabia

SaudiArabia

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