Perceptions, Fast Food Consumption and Eating Habits Among Students Belonging to the Allied Health Sciences
INTRODUCTION: The present generation is the most frequently targeted consumers for the fast food marketers and can lead to various health related disorders in them.
AIM: To assess the perceptions, fast food consumption and eating habits among students belonging to the allied health sciences in various corners of India.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: The study was an online, questionnaire based, cross-sectional study. The questionnaire was in English language, was pre-tested on 50 students and validated accordingly. The questionnaire was based on a 5-point Likert-type scale [(1) strongly disagree, (2) disagree, (3) neutral, (4) agree, and (5) Strongly agree]; had 19 questions and required approximately four minutes for completion. Data was analysed using SPSS version 21.0 and the student’s t-test and multiple logistic regression was applied keeping the p value as 0.05.
RESULTS: The study comprised of 1020 complete responses; out which males formed a majority (52.3%) and most students belonged to the 2nd year of their study (49.1). High mean ± SD scores pertaining to perception were obtained in four questions. While assessing the eating habits, high mean ± SD scores were obtained in three questions. Multiple logistic regression based on gender revealed that females has a significant difference on both perception (0.01) and consumption(p-0.03) habits in relation to fast food as compared to males, while the year of study was significantly associated with the food consumption habits (p=0.01) of the students.
CONCLUSION: Universities and institutions need to educate and motivate students on the importance of healthy eating to reduce the burden of disease among such students.
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