Original Research Article
Year: 2018 | Month: January-March | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-6
Examining Fast Food Consumption Habits and Perceptions of University of Zimbabwe Students
Dr Prosper Chopera
Lecturer Department of Food, Nutrition and Family Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, PO Box MP 169, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
Fast food consumption is on the increase in developing countries and together with many factors has been association with negative impacts on nutrition and health status of individuals. In Zimbabwe studies that determine the prevalence of fast food consumption are very few. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of fast food consumption among university students. This was a cross sectional survey was conducted with a total of 85 students. The subjects completed a structured questionnaire. Weight, height were measured and BMI determined. A large percentage of the study population purchased fast foods, 28.6% reported to consume fast food two to three times a week, 31.0% consumed it at least once a week and 35.7% once a month. Fried chips were the most popular meal (57%), followed by meat (piece of chicken or beef) (33.7%), burgers (27.7%) and sodas (22.9%). A majority (75%) felt that fast food meals were not healthy, 83.3% felt that the fast food industry was contributing to economic growth whilst 85.7% felt that fast foods were not contributing to the good health of the society. There was no association between BMI and amount of time spent in fast food outlets and frequency of visits. In conclusion fast food consumption by university students seems to be high and this may mirror closely the behaviors in the rest of the population segments. This calls for appropriate nutrition and health education messages to curb unhealthy eating behaviours.
Keywords: Mitracarpus hirtus herbs; lethal dose; Biochemical, hematological and histopathological parameters.