Fast Food Consumption, Liver Functions, and Change in Body Weight Among University Students: A Cross‑Sectional Study

Moawiah Khatatbeh, Waleed Momani, Zaid Altaani, Reem Al Saad, Abdul Rahman Al Bourah


Background: Over the past decades, the consumption of fast foods has increased worldwide and became favored by people of most age groups. The objective of this research was to assess the impact of fast foods on liver enzyme levels and body weight. Methods: A cross‑sectional study was conducted at Yarmouk University/Jordan using survey questionnaire and enquired university students about their dietary habits, in addition to laboratory investigations of liver enzymes. Results: In the cross‑tabulation analysis, only age and body mass index (BMI) were significantly associated with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzyme level. However, all differences between aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level and other variables were statistically insignificant. The AST/ALT ratio was calculated and revealed significant statistical association with BMI of participants (P = 0.001). Change in body weight during one year was significantly associated with eating fast food (P = 0.031), drinking beverages with fast food meals (P = 0.001), and ALT level (P = 0.026). However, this association was statistically insignificant with AST level. Conclusions: Fast food consumption among university students in Jordan was not significantly associated with increasing levels of ALT and AST liver enzymes. However, eating fast food and drinking soft drinks were associated with increasing body weight, which is expected to have adverse effect on liver functions in the long term.


Fast foods; Jordan; liver; universities; students

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