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Asian J. Dairy & Food Res, 34(4) 2015:324-327
Print ISSN:0971-4456 / Online ISSN:0976-0563
Fast food consumption pattern among postgraduate female student living
in hostel of University of Rajasthan, India
Monika*, Sadia Chishty and Kanika Verma
Department of Home Science,
University of Rajasthan, Jaipur-302 004, India.
Received: 15-06-2015
Accepted: 25-11-2015
DOI: 10.18805/ajdfr.v34i4.6887
A study was conducted to assess nutritional status and consumption pattern of fast food among female students living in a
post graduate hostel involving 104 girls aged 20-26 years. The subjects were administered a pre-tested, pre-coded proforma
for general demographic information. Anthropometric information was measured for BMI, height, weight, waist and hip
circumferences. Two-day 24 hr recall intake and FFQ was used to collect information on dietary intake and fast food
consumption. Dietary intake of subjects was low compared to suggested values. Calculated dietary fat was 33 g, above
recommended dietary allowances (RDA -20g) and pulses intake was 110% of the RDA. According to BMI, subject
categorized were normal (64.4%), over-weight (9.62%) and obesity grade I (10.5 %) category. Fast foods consumption
frequency was two to three times in a week. Interestingly Golgappa (38%), Chowmin (34%), Chole Bhatura (36%), Pav
Bhaji(42%), Pizza(27%) and Patties (27%) were enjoyed by maximum number of respondents. The habit of fast food
consumption is dangerous leading to many diseases. More awareness should be created for increasing physical activities
and reducing fast food consumption.
Key word: Fast food, Hostel girls, Junk food, Nutritional status.
Consumption of fast foods has become almost a
global phenomenon. India’s fast-food industry is expanding
at the rate of 40% every year. India ranked 10th in the fast
food per capita spending figures with 2.1% of expenditure
in total annual spending (Ferences and Deepthi, 2012).
Eating fast foods for meals or snacks is especially
popular with adolescents and young adults. During early
adulthood, many changes begin that lead to the development
of diseases during later years of life (Stang and Mahan, 2008).
Large increases in caloric intake have occurred in the past
decade to match longer term shifts in eating patterns (Nielson
et al., 2002). Among issues of large concern especially among
adolescents has been the greater intake of sugar, fatty foods,
and other sweeteners (Ludwig et al., 2001).
Popularity of fast food stuffs in this age of
urbanization has been attributed to quick preparation and
convenience of finishing a meal within a short time. Great
taste along with attractive advertising has played a major
role in promoting sales among adolescents (Fister, 2005).
Consumption of high-fat fast foods contributes to
higher energy and fat intake and lower intake of healthful
nutrients (Paeratakul et al., 2003). It is notable that changes
in eating patterns such as incidences of meals eaten away
from home, portion sizes, meal-skipping and fast foods
consumption are be involved in this trend (Young and Nestle,
*Corresponding author’s e-mail: [email protected].
2002). A need thus arose to study the consumption pattern
of fast food in hostels where they indulge in consuming such
food more frequently.
104 post graduate girl students aged 20-26 (Post
Graduate students) residing in Rajasthan University Hostel
Campus Jaipur were selected who were willing to participate
in the study. Any student with chronic health problem like
hypertension and acute illnesses like hepatitis, fever were
excluded. The subjects were administered a pre-tested, precoded proforma for general demographic information.
Anthropometric information was measured for Body Mass
Index (BMI), height, weight, waist and hip circumferences.
Two-day 24 hr recall other than festive day’s intake and food
frequency questionnaire was used to collect information on
dietary intake and fast food consumption. It included fast
food items like pav bhaaji, gol gappe, chocolate, chips,
samosa, kachori, pizza, patties, etc.
In adults, the practice of maintaining weight
compels them to restrict their daily diet to stay slim. But
unintentionally they consume energy dense fast foods which
are easily available almost. Out of 104 girls, majority of the
subjects were found in the age group of 21 years (32%)
22 years (31%) and 20 years (22%). Around 21.2% of the
respondents were receiving Rs. 5000 and above. Only 25.5%
Volume 34 Issue 4 (2015)
respondents were spending Rs. 500-800 per month on food
besides mess charges of Rs. 900 per month and rest were
spending 300-400 rupees per month. The money received
from home was also spent on clothes, entertainment,
toiletries, transportation etc.
The mean weight of subjects was 55.4±6.13 in kg
which was comparable to the ICMR (50 kg) value. The mean
height of subjects was 161.3±6.49 when compared to 154 cm
for reference women height The mean BMI of subjects was
21.4±2.4 which again was found to be normal compared with
a standard (20.5) for normal BMI category (WHO, 2000).
9.6 percent and 10.5 percent subjects fell in pre-obese and
obesity grade I category respectively. The study categorized
subjects on basis of BMI, normal (64.4%), low weight but
normal (11.54 %), CED (Chronic energy deficiency) II
moderate (2.88 %) under Pre-obese (9.62%) and obesity
grade I (10.5%) category. WHR (Waist hip ratio) is an
accepted clinical, though, indirect method to identify subjects
with abdominal fat accumulation. (Singh et al., 2012) Mean
WHR (0.79±0.06) was comparable to standard (0.8) given
for female population. Prevalence of abdominal obesity in
according to waist circumference was higher (58.95 %)
among the women of Raipur (Singh et al., 2012).
The mean intake of cereal in the diet was higher
due to dieting or lack of preference towards hostel food or
poor quality of chapattis. Rice was consumed less may be
because it is considered as fattening food. The mean intake
of pulses was higher when compared to balanced diet
recommended for adults. The consumption of pulses was
more because pulses were provided twice a day in hostel
mess menu. Vegetables were less preferred in comparison
TABLE 1: Dietary intake of University girl students
Food groups
ICMR (g)
Actual Intake (g)
% of RDI
Cereals & grain
Pulses & legumes
Milk & Products
with pulses. Low quality of green leafy vegetable were eaten
without inclusion of salads in diet, consequently lead them
to consume only 66% of vegetables than suggested values.
The calculated fat in respondent’s diet was 33 gm which was
above the Reference Daily Intake (20g). Sugar intake was 20g
which was proportionate to recommended value. Subjects
consumed approximately half liter milk and milk products
which was comparatively higher than RDI for milk (Table 1).
Table 2 reveals that subjects consumed maggi (8%),
bhujia (23%), and chips (10%) daily. Out of 93 percent of
the total subjects had liking towards ice cream but only
33 per cent consumed ice-cream once or twice in a month
and 24% reported to have it twice or thrice in a week. The
consumption could represent an underestimated figure of
ice-cream consumption, as the survey was conducted in
winters. Interestingly 96 percent liked chocolates and 31%
consumed it twice or thrice in a week and 15% enjoyed it
Out of total subjects, 88% were found to consume
chips. Fast food like Golgappa (38%), Chowmin (34%), Pav
Bhaji (42%), Pizza (27%), Patties (27% ) were enjoyed by
TABLE 2 : Fast food consumption pattern in girl students
Food item
White bread Sandwich
White Bread and Butter
Cold drink
15.38 (16)
10.57 (11)
15.38 (16)
25.94 (27)
9.62 (10)
0.96 (1)
0.96 (1)
7.69 (8)
23.08 (24)
7.69 (8)
0.96 (1)

Number of subjects is indicated in ()
Once a week
20.20 (21)
24.04 (25)
30.77 (32)
13.47 (14)
25.94 (27)
22.12 (23)
8.64 (9)
22.12 (23)
12.5 (13)
9.62 (10)
3.82 (4)
8.64 (9)
18.27 (19)
22.11 (23)
3.85 (4)
13.47 (14)
31.73 (33)
32.69 (34)
12.5 (13)
Within 2-3 week
24.03 (25)
25.00 (26)
31.73 (33)
1.93 (2)
31.73 (33)
36.54 (38)
16.35 (17)
23.08 (24)
26.93 (28)
32.69 (34)
25.00 (26)
40.39 (42)
30.78 (32)
19.23 (20)
25.96 (27)
25.96 (27)
23.08 (24)
40.39 (42)
26.92 (28)
1-2 /month
33.65 (35)
21.16 (22)
18.27 (19)
3.85 (4)
16.35 (17)
15.38 (16)
18.27 (19)
15.38 (16)
9.61 (10)
32.69 (34)
27.88 (24)
25.97 (27)
12.50 (13)
4.81 (5)
26.93 (28)
18.24 (19)
10.58 (11)
2.88 (3)
13.47 (14)
6.74 (7)
19.23 (20)
3.85 (4)
54.81 (57)
16.36 (17)
25.00 (26)
54.74 (54)
34.42 (11)
50.96 (53)
25.00 (26)
42.31 (44)
25.00 (26)
30.76 (32)
30.77 (32)
43.26 (45)
34.61 (36)
34.61 (36)
23.08 (24)
47.11 (49)
maximum subjects and the frequency of consuming was two
to three times in a week. Butter and white bread were reported
to be consumed two or three times in a week by all subjects
where as 75% of the total subjects consumed juice, out of
which 28% had it daily.
Daily consumption of Bhujia was prevalent in
23.08% subjects. Chips were consumed by 9.62% subjects
daily and the average BMI of daily eaters was 21.86±2.3.
Around 15.38% subjects were munching chocolate daily with
average BMI of 21.49 (Table 3). Consumption of patties
and pastry was common among students. The subjects were
eating patties and pastry (8%, 11%) daily and their BMI
was 21.78±2.4, 23.42±2.8 respectively.
TABLE 3: Distribution of subjects who had fast food daily and
average BMI of subjects
No. of
subjects (n=104)
% of
The college students living away from home are
highly vulnerable to obesity. In Bangladesh 426 students
attending established private university were interviewed for
the prevalence of fast food consumption and obesity risk
determined by body mass index (BMI). Approximately 56%
of them went to fast food restaurants at least once per week
and 44 % went regularly (³2 times/wk). Obesity was found
to be significantly associated with frequency of fast food
consumption (Goon et al. 2014). The intake of food items
bhujia, chips, chocolate, patties and pastry on daily basis
could be due to the monotonous menu being followed in
hostel mess.
In a study conducted by Sidhu and Prabhjot (2004)
in Punjab on 500 girls it was concluded that 51% were
normal, 28.2% overweight and 15% obese. They found that
the Body mass index (BMI) of the maximum subjects was
21.92 kg/mt In a study by Deshpande et al (2013), the burden
of overweight and obesity among college students in 18-25
years age group in Ujjain city was 17.4% underweight
(BMI£18.5), 37.7% normal (BMI-18.5-22.9).
A cross sectional study of 400 college going girls
aged 18-24 years from undergraduate and postgraduate
sections revealed that 23% of the subjects were either
overweight or obese (Thakkar et al., 2011).
Among respondents who reported going to fastfood restaurants at least once per week, the reason for
choosing this type of restaurant was that it was quick and
convenient (41.9%), followed by taste of the food (30.6%),
sociability, and its good value in terms of cost statistically
highly significant correlation (P=0.01) between frequency
of consumption and BMI level (Goon et al., 2014).
Study conducted by Islam and Ullah(2010)
identified brand reputation, accessibility, taste, cost, quality,
food hygiene, and fat and cholesterol level as the factors
related to fast food preferences by the university students in
The sedentary lifestyle of modern society results
in of increasing overweight and obesity. Consuming fast food
does not represent its ill effects if the person is physically
active. However, consumption of fast foods should be
restricted as it is a cause of many non communicable diseases
associated with liver diseases, diabetes, cardio vascular
health and arthritis. Awareness should be created for
increasing physical activities in day to day life and reducing
fast food consumption.
Deshpande, K., Patel, S. and Bhujade,R. (2013). Lifestyle and Obesity among College Students in Ujjain, India. Natl J
Community Med. 4: 291-293.
Ferences, A. and Deepthi, R. (2012). Fast foods and their impact on health. Journal of Krishna 2:7-15.
Fister, K. (2005). Junk food advertising contributes to young American’s obesity. BMJ 331: 1426.
Goon, S., Munmun, S.B. and Islam, Md. S. (2014). Fast Food Consumption and Obesity Risk among University Students
of Bangladesh. European Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2: 99-104.
Islam, N and Ullah, G.M.S. (2010). Factors affecting consumers’ preferences on fast food items in Bangladesh. J Applied
Business Research 26:131-46.
Ludwig, D.S., Peterson, K.E. and Gortmaker, S.L. (2001). Relation between consumption of sugar sweetened drink and
childhood obesity; a prospective observational analysis. Lancet 357:505-508.
Nielsen, S.J., Siega-Riz, A.M. and Popkin, B.M. (2002). Trends in energy intake in US between 1977 and 1996: Similar
shifts seen across age groups. Obes Rev 10: 370–8.
Paeratakul, S., Ferdinand, D.P. and Champagne, C.M. (2003). Fast food consumption among US adults and children,
dietary and nutrient intake profile. Am Diet Assoc 103:1332-8
Sidhu, S. and Prabhjot. (2004). Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among the College-going Girls of Punjab
Anthropologist, 6: 295-297
Volume 34 Issue 4 (2015)
Singh, V., Sahu, M. and Yadav, S. (2012). Incidence of obesity among the pre-menopausal and post-menopausal working
women of Raipur district (Chhattisgarh State) World Journal of Science and Technology 2: 83-86.
Stang, J. (2008). Nutrition in Adolescence In Mahan K., Escott- stump S. “Food And Nutrition Therapy” 12th edition, McGraw Hill USA pp 246-259
Thakkar, S.K., Misra, S.C. and Gupta. (2011). Prevalence of obesity and related perceptions among college going girls in
Agra District of U.P. – A cross-sectional study. Indian J. Prev. Soc. Med 42:2.
Young, L.R. and Nestle, M. (2002). The contribution of expanding portion sizes to the US obesity epidemic. Am J Public
Health 92: 246-249.
WHO. (2000). Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO Consultation. Technical Report
Series 894. Geneva.
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Major Article
Factors Related to the Number of Fast Food Meals
Obtained by College Meal Plan Students
Deirdre A. Dingman, DrPH; Mark R. Schulz, PhD; David L. Wyrick, PhD;
Daniel L. Bibeau, PhD; Sat N. Gupta, PhD
Abstract. Objectives: This study tested whether days on campus,
financial access through a meal plan, and health consciousness
were associated with number of meals that college students
obtained from fast food restaurants. Participants and Methods:
In April 2013, all students currently enrolled in a meal plan were
invited to participate in an online survey (N D 1,246). Students
were asked to report the total number of meals eaten in the past
week and where they obtained them. Results: Negative binomial
regression was used, and it was found that the number of meals
obtained from fast food restaurants was positively associated with
financial access and negatively associated with health consciousness. An association between days on campus and the number of
meals obtained from fast food restaurants was not found. Conclusions: Increasing levels of health consciousness and reducing
access to fast food restaurants through flex plans may reduce
college students’ consumption of fast food.
week,6 and some consume as many as 6 to 8.7 In one Vermont study, college students ate fast food 70% more often
than non–college-attending adults within the same
High rates of fast food patronage can be problematic
because the consumption of fast food meals has been associated with a diet that is high in calories, saturated fat,
sugar, and sodium,9 as well as body fatness, weight gain,
and increased body mass index (BMI).5,10,11 The link
appears to be a lack of compensation for the high calories
consumed from the restaurant meals. A typical fast food
meal contains more than 800 calories,12 which for most
adults exceeds 30% of their daily calorie needs (ie, if a person ate 3 times a day and required 1800 to 2000 calories a
day, they would consume 400 to 600 extra calories because
they did not adjust their later intake).13 For example, a
study of adolescents found that when they ate fast food,
they did not compensate for the excess calories later in the
day and had a net increase in calories, saturated fat, and
sugar compared with days that they did not eat fast food
meals.14 Gerend6 found that both male and female college
students ordered fast food meals that were in excess of 900
calories when they ordered from an online menu. It is possible that college-aged students will not make caloric compensations after eating fast food meals.
Although frequent consumption of fast food meals by
college students appears to put them at risk for obesity,
there are gaps in our knowledge of what predicts fast food
consumption among college students. One body of research
suggests that fast food availability as measured by proximity to the restaurants and geographical density of the restaurants is a main driver of fast food meal consumption.5,10,11
Research on primary schools and children15 and home environments and adults16 helped to establish this link. It is
highly plausible that the relationship or mechanism of
effect exists for college students because of fast food
Keywords: college students, fast food, meal plans, obesity
ompared with other adults, young adults (aged 20
to 39) consume the most fast food.1 Young adults
obtain about 15% of their calories from fast food
meals, whereas adults between the ages of 40 and 59 obtain
10.5% of their calories from fast food meals, and those
aged 60 and older only 6%.1 (As per the literature,2–5
throughout this article and in our study, we include pizza
restaurants in the category of fast food.) Studies specific to
college students, many of whom are in the 20 to 29 age
group, show that most consume at least 1 fast food meal a
Dr Dingman, at the time of the study, was with and Dr Schulz,
Dr Wyrick, and Dr Bibeau are with the Department of Public
Health Education, School of Health and Human Sciences, at The
University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Greensboro, North
Carolina. Dr Gupta is with the Department of Mathematics and
Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, at The University of North
Carolina at Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Copyright Ó 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Fast Food Meals Obtained by College Meal Plan Students
restaurant availability while on campus, but empirical studies are lacking in this particular population.
Fast food availability in a home or school environment is
an environmental factor that may contribute to fast food
meal consumption and obesity. Bonne-Heinoen et al16
found a positive relationship between the number of fast
food restaurants within a 0.5 mile radius of a person’s
home and the number of times a person had eaten at a fast
food restaurant in the past week, where …
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