Trends in Fast‑food Consumption among Kuwaiti Youth

Lemia Shaban, Dalal Alkazemi

Abstract


Background: We assessed fast‑food consumption including frequency, type, and reasons among college students from the Kuwait University, and whether there were any key sex differences.

Methods: A cross‑sectional survey was conducted from January–March 2016 with 421 students (297 women, mean age = 20.99 ± 3.14 years). Students completed self‑administered fast‑food questionnaires and weight and height measurements were obtained.

Results: Most (81.4%) consumed fast food more than twice per week and more men than women were overweight or obese (54.8% vs. 38.7%, respectively; P = 0.002); however, there were no differences in the fast‑food frequency per body mass index or sex. Taste was the most reported motivator to consume fast food (46.7%) and women were signifcantly more likely to value taste as compared to men (49.8% vs. 38.9%, respectively; P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Fast food is a key part of college students’ diet in Kuwait; therefore, students should be educated on the negative effects of frequent fast‑food consumption. University health promotional activities should include nutrition education on healthier fast‑food options and how to prepare easy‑to‑cook meals at home.

Keywords: Consumption, fast food, Kuwait, sex difference, taste, weight




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