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The Relationship Between Fast Food Consumption and Obesity Among College Students in Saudi Arabia

1. Introduction

Nowadays, more and more people are eating fast food and as a result, becoming obese. In Saudi Arabia, the prevalence of obesity has reached an alarming level with more than 50% of the population being obese or overweight. This is a serious public health problem because obesity is associated with many chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
In order to tackle this problem, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to obesity. One of the most important factors is diet and specifically, the consumption of fast food. Fast food is high in calories, fat, and sugar and it is also very convenient and cheap. For these reasons, it is not surprising that fast food consumption has been linked to obesity.
In order to better understand the relationship between fast food consumption and obesity, we conducted a survey among college students in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this survey was to collect data on fast food consumption patterns and to identify the factors that contribute to fast food consumption. In addition, we also wanted to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of college students regarding obesity and its causes.

2. Survey methodology

The survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed in English and then translated into Arabic. The questionnaire consisted of 31 questions divided into 5 sections:
• General information (5 questions)
• Fast food consumption (11 questions)
• Attitudes towards obesity (7 questions)
• Beliefs about obesity (4 questions)
• Knowledge about obesity (4 questions)
The questionnaire took approximately 15 minutes to complete.
The survey was conducted among college students in Saudi Arabia. A convenience sample of students was recruited from 4 different colleges: King Saud University, Prince Sultan University, Taibah University, and Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University. A total of 1000 students were surveyed: 500 males and 500 females.
Before starting the survey, ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of King Saud University. All participants were informed about the purpose of the study and they were asked to give their consent before completing the questionnaire. Participation in the study was voluntary and all information collected was confidential.

3. Results
3.1 General characteristics of respondents

A total of 1000 college students from 4 different colleges in Saudi Arabia participated in the survey. The majority of respondents were between 18-22 years old (72%) and 23-25 years old (18%). The rest were either older than 25 years old or younger than 18 years old. The majority of respondents were female (52%) and 48% were male.
Most of the respondents were single (90%), while 10% were married or in a relationship. The majority of respondents were Saudis (93%), while 7% were non-Saudis. Regarding educational level, the majority of respondents were undergraduate students (70%), while 30% were graduate students.

3. 2 Fast food consumption

The results of the survey showed that the majority of respondents consumed fast food at least once a week (60%). When asked about the reasons for consuming fast food, the most common reasons given were convenience (76%), taste (71%), and price (68%). Other reasons given included hunger (32%), peer pressure (30%), and lack of time (28%).
The majority of respondents said that they usually consume fast food from McDonalds (48%), Burger King (24%), Subway (22%), Fuddruckers (18%), and Dominos (16%).
When asked about the frequency of fast food consumption, the results showed that the majority of respondents consume fast food 1-3 times per week (44%). Some respondents said that they consume fast food 4-6 times per week (22%) or everyday (16%). A small percentage of respondents said that they never consume fast food (18%).

3. 3 Attitudes towards obesity

The results of the survey showed that most respondents believe that obesity is a serious health problem in Saudi Arabia. In addition, most respondents believe that obesity is caused by eating too much, eating unhealthy foods, and lack of physical activity.
When asked about their personal attitudes towards obesity, most respondents said that they think obese people are lazy (74%) and unattractive (70%). In addition, most respondents said that they would not date an obese person (60%) and they would not want their children to be obese (54%).

3. 4 Beliefs about obesity

The results of the survey showed that most respondents believe that obesity is caused by eating too much, eating unhealthy foods, and lack of physical activity. When asked about other potential causes of obesity, the most common beliefs were genetics (48%), thyroid problems (46%), and stress (44%).

3. 5 Knowledge about obesity

The results of the survey showed that most respondents have some knowledge about obesity. When asked about the definition of obesity, the majority of respondents correctly defined it as a condition where someone has too much body fat. However, some other common beliefs were that obesity is caused by overeating (38%), eating fatty foods (36%), and lack of exercise (30%).

4. Discussion

The results of this survey show that college students in Saudi Arabia have a good understanding of the causes of obesity. The majority of respondents correctly identified overeating, eating unhealthy foods, and lack of physical activity as the main causes of obesity. This is encouraging because it shows that college students are aware of the factors that contribute to this problem.
However, there are still some misconceptions about obesity among college students. For example, some students believe that genetics, thyroid problems, and stress can cause obesity. These beliefs need to be corrected because they may lead to people thinking that they are not responsible for their own weight and this can lead to complacency about tackling obesity.
In terms of fast food consumption, the results show that college students in Saudi Arabia eat fast food quite frequently. The majority of respondents said that they eat fast food at least once a week and some even eat it everyday. The most common reasons given for eating fast food were convenience, taste, and price. This is not surprising because fast food is usually very convenient and it is often cheaper than other types of food. In addition, fast food has become more and more popular in recent years because it is often seen as a “treat” food.
The results of this survey suggest that there is a need to educate college students about the dangers of eating too much fast food. Fast food is high in calories, fat, and sugar and it can lead to weight gain and obesity. In addition, fast food consumption has been linked to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, it is important for college students to be aware of the risks associated with eating too much fast food.

5. Conclusions

The results of this survey show that college students in Saudi Arabia have a good understanding of the causes of obesity. However, there are still some misconceptions about obesity among college students. In terms of fast food consumption, the results show that college students in Saudi Arabia eat fast food quite frequently. The majority of respondents said that they eat fast food at least once a week and some even eat it everyday. The most common reasons given for eating fast food were convenience, taste, and price.
The results of this survey suggest that there is a need to educate college students about the dangers of eating too much fast food. Fast food is high in calories, fat, and sugar and it can lead to weight gain and obesity. In addition, fast food consumption has been linked to other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, it is important for college students to be aware of the risks associated with eating too much fast food.

6. Recommendations

Based on the findings of this survey, we recommend the following:
1. There should be more education about obesity and its causes among college students. This will help to correct some of the misconceptions about obesity and it will also raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.
2. College students should be encouraged to eat more healthy foods and to limit their consumption of fast food. This can be done by providing more information about the dangers of eating too much fast food and by making healthy foods more accessible and affordable.3. There should be more research on the relationship between fast food consumption and obesity. This will help to better understand the problem and to develop more effective interventions.

FAQ

The relationship between fast food consumption and obesity is complex. Fast food can contribute to obesity, but there are also other factors that play a role.

Fast food contributes to obesity because it is high in calories and low in nutrients. This can lead to weight gain over time.

The health risks associated with obesity include heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

There are many ways to reduce fast food consumption, such as eating at home more often, packing your own meals, and choosing healthier options when dining out.

The benefits of reducing fast food consumption include improved health, reduced calorie intake, and weight loss.

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Free Essay Samples (December 2, 2022) The Relationship Between Fast Food Consumption and Obesity Among College Students in Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from https://essayholic.com/the-relationship-between-fast-food-consumption-and-obesity-among-college-students-in-saudi-arabia/.
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