Abstract of Dissertation

Agency : Adolescent Age Group, BMI, Urban Students, Behaviour and Awareness, Consumption, Fast Food

Objective : The study aimed at focusing on behaviour and awareness of fast food consumption. The objectives of the study were to determine the effect of fast food consumption upon BMI of adolescents, to establish relationship between the consumption and behaviour of fast food with the lifestyle of urban students and to know the awareness level among urban students of how fast food affects the behaviour towards their consumption.

Methodology : Study was conducted in three schools and two colleges of Surat city in Gujarat. The study participants were the students of 10th to 12th Students in higher secondary school and first and second year college students in Surat city in Gujarat. Sampling type was convenient sampling. A self-developed, pretested questionnaire consisting of both open-ended and closed-ended items were used. The study population comprised school and college students of the Surat city. Total completed questionnaire received were 350.

Findings : Prevalence of consumption of fast food was more among the boys than girls. Prevalence of fast food consumption among school going students was found be a little lower than college going students. On the basis of family type, the prevalence of fast food consumption students living in hostel/ PG was a little higher than the students living with their families. Prevalence of fast food consumption was higher during morning and evening time. Lower income group had been found consuming fast food more than higher income groups. Forty four percent of the students said, that they consume fast food cooked at home, and the students those who said no were 55% who consume fast food cooked outside (mess, food court, canteen, fast food restaurant). Half of the school going students preferred to accompany their parents/ family to eat fast food whereas 74% of college going students preferred to be accompanied by their friends. Forty three percent students said that their parents have no objection with their fast food consumption. When the reasons were asked, more than half i.e. 62.86% of respondents found fast food very tasty whereas 21.14% respondents found variations in the menu of the fast food.

Recommendations : If major steps are taken against fast food consumption and banning of fast food in schools is implemented then there is a possibility that these kinds of fast food consuming habits will not be adopted by a person in his lifetime and this can save many lives averting the risk of exposing a lot of people to many fast food leading diseases

Adolescents are especially vulnerable to television food advertising because they are less able than adults to fully understand its persuasive techniques and to therefore judge it critically.