Junk Food Consumption, Perceptions and Associated Factors among the Private School Children

Author(s): Shiva R. Acharya*, Sandip Pahari, Deog H. Moon, Yong C. Shin

Journal Name: Current Nutrition & Food Science

Volume 17 , Issue 6 , 2021


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Abstract:

Background: Urbanization and recent development in the food industries have led to a notable increase in junk food production, making them readily available, accessible and affordable. The main problem with junk foods is that they are low in satiation value. People do not tend to feel as full when they eat them, which can lead to overeating. Junk food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods. It is considered as one of the prominent causes of the pandemic of obesity.

Objective: The study aims to find out the perception and factors influencing junk food consumption among private school children of Pokhara Valley, Nepal.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 220 students of 12 different private schools of grades 4-9 in Pokhara, Nepal. Systematic random sampling was done to collect samples. Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire. Chi-square (χ2) test was used to find out the associated factors with junk food consumption.

Results: Though the majority of the students (80.9%) stated, junk food was unhealthy but were predominantly lured by its taste. Taste (80.5%), lack of time (16.4%), advertisement (13.6%) and changing lifestyle (6.4%) were the major influencing factors for junk food consumption. Half of the students were unaware of the nutritive value, food quality, ingredients, preservatives used and negative consequences on health. Grade of the students and gender were found to be associated with the average frequency of junk food use per week and junk food consumption pattern, respectively. The data shows the average consumption of junk food increases as the students grew from smaller grades to higher ones (X2=53.025, P ≤0.01).

Conclusion: Junk food consumption was notably high due to various enabling factors such as addictive taste, changing lifestyle, propagandist advertising and instant availability. Grade and gender of the students were the predictors of over-consuming junk foods.

Keywords: Junk food, perception, fast food, nutrition, taste, children.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 17
ISSUE: 6
Year: 2021
Published on: 07 February, 2021
Page: [634 - 638]
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.2174/1573401317666210208115732
Price: $65

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