Fast Foods Perception Among Adolescents by Gender and Weight Status
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Background: Fast food restaurants have become widespread in both developed and developing countries due to nutritional and economic transitions. The frequency of fast food intake is relatively high among adolescents; however, fast food consumption is positively associated with total energy intake and obesity in adolescents. Objective: This study aimed to examine the perception of Jordanian adolescents towards fast foods relative to gender and obesity. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 400 boys and 395 girls, aged 15-18 years. The adolescents completed a validated questionnaire to measure the perception of adolescents towards fast foods during the year 2013-2014. Weight and height were measured. Numbers who were non-overweight, overweight, and obese were calculated for each age and sex using the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) standard. Results: The majority of participants perceived foods which are eaten as sandwiches as fast foods. A significant difference between boy and girl adolescents was reported regarding perception of French fries ( p < 0.012), fried chicken ( p < 0.001), fattayer ( p < 0.001), foul (boiled broad beans) sandwich ( p < 0.001), falafel sandwich ( p < 0.044) and fried eggs sandwich ( p < 0.001) as fast foods. Girls were significantly more enthusiastic than boys to consider cuscusi plate ( p < 0.001), rice dishes ( p < 0.002), Chinese foods ( p < 0.001), Indian foods ( p < 0.010), Mexican foods ( p < 0.011), and Italian foods ( p < 0.004) as non-fast foods. The difference between obese and non-obese regarding the perception of fast foods was only significant among boy participants. Western or non-Arab foods, food prepared fast and eaten fast in self-service outlets, and food rich in calories were significantly perceived as fast food by Jordanian adolescents ( p < 0.05). Conclusions: The perception of foods as fast foods or non-fast foods was significantly different between both genders as well as in obese and non-obese male Jordanian adolescents.
- Human Nutrition [39 items ]