Fast food consumption and overweight/obesity prevalence in students and its association with general and abdominal obesity

J Prev Med Hyg. 2018 Sep 28;59(3):E236-E240. doi: 10.15167/2421-4248/jpmh2018.59.3.830. eCollection 2018 Sep.


Nowadays, the prevalence of both fast food consumption and overweight/obesity has been increased. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of fast food consumption and to assess its association with abdominal and general obesity. In an analytical cross-sectional study, 300 students were selected randomly from two largest universities in Qom, center of Iran, studying in medical and basic sciences fields in 2015. Data collection was conducted by a modified version of NELSON's fast food questionnaire and anthropometric measures including Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR) and Body Mass Index (BMI). Chi-square, independent t-test, and multivariate logistic regression were used for statistical analysis. According to our results, 72.4% (67.4% in females vs 80.7% in males) had at least one type of fast food consumption in the recent month including sandwich 44.4%, pizza 39.7%, and fried chicken 13.8%, The obesity prevalence based on BMI and WHR was 21.3% (95% CI: 19.4, 23.2%) and 33.2% (95% CI: 0.7, 35.7), respectively. Fast food consumption was related to abdominal obesity as WHR (OR: 1.46, 95% CI: 1.11, 2.26), but was not related to general obesity as BMI (OR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.63, 1.52). The prevalence of fast food consumption and obesity/overweight in Iranian student is high. Fast food consumption was associated with abdominal obesity based WHR, but did not related to general obesity based on BMI.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Fast foods; Iran; Overweight; Students.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fast Foods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult