Original Article

Exploring the Underlying Factors for Fast Food Consumption Behavior among Adolescents: A Qualitative Study


Background: Overweight and obesity cause different disorders such as high blood pressure, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases. So it becomes a major factor for enhancing different mortal diseases.
Due to the high tendency to consume fast food among adolescents, this study aims to identify the causes of adolescent’s desire for and fast food consumption.
Methods: An interview was carried out with some adolescents to explore the reasons and their consumption rate.
Results: The main factors promoting fast food consumption in students can be divided into 4 categories. Also, the students’ motivation in fast food ingestion can be explained in personal, social, and educational reasons.
Conclusion: Increasing number of fast food restaurants, peer pressure, parents’ role in choosing proper nutrition, and lack of knowledge about the risks of fast food are the main reasons for increased fast food consumption in adolescents.

1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. JAMA. 2012;307(5):483-90.
2. Togashi K, Masuda H, Rankinen T, Tanaka S, Bouchard C, Kamiya H. A 12-year follow-up study of treated obese children in Japan. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002;26(6):770-7.
3. Reilly JJ. Descriptive epidemiology and health consequences of childhood obesity. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005;19(3):327-41.
4. Crawford PB, Story M, Wang MC, Ritchie LD, Sabry ZI. Ethnic issues in the epidemiology of childhood obesity. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001;48(4):855-78.
5. MIRMIRAN P, Mirbolooki M, MOHAMMADI NF, Azizi F. Prevalence of thinness, overweight and obesity in Tehran adolescents: Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study.
6. Hebebrand J, Herpertz-Dahlmann B. Psychological and psychiatric aspects of pediatric obesity. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009;18(1):49-65.
7. Qodsi M TVS, Nasehi B. Fast food; a serious threat for human health. national congress on civil defence in agricultural sector; Khuzestan Province 2016.
8. Wade JM. "Doing Difference" and Fast Food Consumption: Patterns Among a Sample of White and African American Emerging Adults. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2018;5(2):398-409.
9. Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Azizi F. Fast Food Pattern and Cardiometabolic Disorders: A Review of Current Studies. Health Promot Perspect. 2016;5(4):231-40.
10. Rehm CD, Drewnowski A. Trends in Consumption of Solid Fats, Added Sugars, Sodium, Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, and Fruit from Fast Food Restaurants and by Fast Food Restaurant Type among US Children, 2003-2010. Nutrients. 2016;8(12):804.
11. Futrell Dunaway L, Carton T, Ma P, Mundorf AR, Keel K, Theall KP. Beyond Food Access: The Impact of Parent-, Home-, and Neighborhood-Level Factors on Children's Diets. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(6):662.
12. Poti JM, Slining MM, Popkin BM. Where are kids getting their empty calories? Stores, schools, and fast-food restaurants each played an important role in empty calorie intake among US children during 2009-2010. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014;114(6):908-17.
13. Close MA, Lytle LA, Viera AJ. Is frequency of fast food and sit-down restaurant eating occasions differentially associated with less healthful eating habits? Prev Med Rep. 2016; 4:574-577.
14. Pinho MGM, Mackenbach JD, Charreire H, Oppert JM, Bárdos H, Glonti K, et al. Exploring the relationship between perceived barriers to healthy eating and dietary behaviours in European adults. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(5):1761-1770.
15. Ortiz SE, Zimmerman FJ, Adler GJ Jr. Increasing public support for food-industry related, obesity prevention policies: The role of a taste-engineering frame and contextualized values. Soc Sci Med. 2016; 156:142-53.
16. Powell LM, Han E, Chaloupka FJ. Economic contextual factors, food consumption, and obesity among U.S. adolescents. J Nutr. 2010; 140(6):1175-80.
17. Fortin B, Yazbeck M. Peer effects, fast food consumption and adolescent weight gain. J Health Econ. 2015; 42:125-38.
18. Mulvaney SA, Kaemingk KL, Goodwin JL, Quan SF. Parent-rated behavior problems associated with overweight before and after controlling for sleep disordered breathing. BMC Pediatr. 2006; 6:34.
19. Pearson N, Biddle SJ, Gorely T. Family correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr. 2009;12(2):267-83.
20. Grasso KL, Bell RA. Understanding Health Information Seeking: A Test of the Risk Perception Attitude Framework. J Health Commun. 2015;20(12):1406-14.
21. Reniers RL, Murphy L, Lin A, Bartolomé SP, Wood SJ. Risk Perception and Risk-Taking Behaviour during Adolescence: The Influence of Personality and Gender. PLoS One. 2016;11(4):e0153842.
22. Chawla N, Panza A, Sirikulchayanonta C, Kumar R, Taneepanichskul S. Effectiveness Of A School-Based Multicomponent Intervention On Nutritional Status Among Primary School Children In Bangkok, Thailand. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2017;29(1):13-20.
IssueVol 5, No 1/2 (Winter/Spring 2019) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jnsd.v5i1.5231
Nutrition Behavior Fast food Adolescents

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Pourabassi A, Fatemi F-S, Tehrani Moghaddam M, Yavari H, Seyedhosseini B, Shams AH. Exploring the Underlying Factors for Fast Food Consumption Behavior among Adolescents: A Qualitative Study. J Nutr Sci & Diet. 2019;5(1-2):19-25.