BACKGROUND AND AIM:- Junk foods are rich in calories, salt and fats. Excess consumption of junk foods would lead rise to wide variety of health disorders. The aim of the present study was to know about junk food habits of students, their ingredients, nutritive value and their impact on human health.
: Self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. Students from VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu (India) were selected for this study as a sample population and the total sample size was represented by 344 students
: The analysis showed that 30% of students were not aware about the harmful effects, nutritive value, quality of the food, chemicals present and its impact on human health. In the questionnaire almost 85% of students gave their opinion about the junk food as unhealthy. Base on the study, it was found that 18% were taking junk food as an alternative to breakfast, 68% of individuals liked junk foods for their taste as it was one of the predominant factor for their choice
: Junk foods, Web survey, self administered questionnaire (SAQ), diplomatic, sumptuous and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT).
The results from the present study conclude that the respondents were diplomatic in their answers and only few were obvious to the fact that serious health effects might arise upon continuous consumption of junk foods
Most of the junk foods are rich in fats and poor in other nutrients. Common junk food includes Fast food, chips, candy, gum, sweet desserts as well as alcoholic beverages. Consumption of energy dense foods especially sweetened beverages like fruit drinks, carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks may lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk.
Trends including fast food consumption and skipping breakfast increased during the transition period of adulthood, and such dietary behaviors are associated with increased weight gain from adolescence to adulthood. The negative effects of consumption of excess salt containing junk foods on health include increase in blood pressure and decrease in calcium absorption. Foods with high salt content, therefore, are an important issue in the modern society.
An effort to suppress the growing frequency of obesity, a tax on junk foods known as ‘fat tax’ has been introduced and the revenue of which is used to provide funding for healthy foods and excersing equipment. A survey conducted among adolescents about weight related attitudes, behaviour and problems dealt by fat children lead them to eat too many calories, lack of self control and the people with weight controlling attitude would enjoy physical activity and be highly coordinated.
A report given by National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) 2010 about the fast food industry in India is estimated at between Rs 6,750 and Rs 8,000 crore. The total value of junk food consumed in India in 2003 was about Rs 41,000 crore based on the National Sample Survey (NSS) data for the category`beverages, refreshments and processed foods.
VIT FOOD COURTA PLACE WHERE THOUSAND OF STUDENTS COME DAILY TO EAT FAST FOOD
1) What is your favorite junk food? a) Fast food b) snacks c) soft drinks d) candies 2) Do you check the junk food quality? a) Yes b) no c) sometimes 3) Do you check the nutrient fact label in the junk food? a) Don’t know b) Yes I would check c) No I don’t check d) sometimes I do check
4) Are you aware about the chemicals present in the junk food and its safety level? a) Yes I know b) I don’t know about the chemicals present and its safety level c) I know only about 50% of chemicals present and its safety level 5) Do you really know the harmful effects of chemical present in junk food? a) Yes b) no c) others 6) What are the factors influencing the choice of junk food? a) Time b) taste c) changing lifestyles d) influence of advertisements
7) How many times do you eat junk food on an average per week? a) Once b) twice c) thrice d) four times e) more than five times 8) In your opinion do you consider junk food is healthy or not? a) Yes b) no 9) Do you know having junk food on a daily basis makes you eat more? a) Agree b) disagree 10) Do you take junk food as an alternative to breakfast? a) Yes b) no c) sometimes
The present survey was conducted in Tamil Nadu, India. The population sample included students from VIT University, Vellore. The sample population 344 individuals were chosen for the study. Questionnaires were distributed to the students present in the classrooms. Among the 344 respondents, 205 were males and 139 females. All the participants were in the age group from 17-28 years and the mean age was 21.8 years. The questionnaire was distributed and data collected between January to February 2011. A single page questionnaire containing set of 10 multiple choice questions was prepared and distributed. The students were given a brief overview about junk foods and their ill health effects. The responses were collected and counted manually based on the options specified for each question framed. The participants were provided 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire framed.
Favourite Junk food: The total sample size includes (N=344 individuals). The type of junk foods preferred by the individuals is given in table 1. Nearly 53% of respondents preferred fast food, followed by 23% of individuals who liked snacks, 15% consumed soft drinks and the remaining 7% preferred to take candies.
Three Out of ten questions were asked to analyze the eating habit of the students. Around (44% of individuals) indicated that they do not take junk food as an alternative to breakfast, 39% of students indicated that they would take rarely and that to very least quantity 18% indicated they would take junk food as breakfast. And when the students were asked to select the factor that influences them in selecting the type of the junk food, 68.1% opted for taste, 14.2% for changing life style, 10% opted for time and only 7.2% opted for influence of advertisements.
Out of ten questions, four were asked to analyze the student awareness about the junk food facts. About 43% of the respondents said that they do check the quality of the junk food, followed by 39% respondents who sometimes check the quality and only 18% of the respondents said they don’t check the quality at all. For the question related to nutrient facts labels awareness, 7.8% of the respondents said that they did not know about it; followed by 25.2% who did not check the label, 16.2% checked the label and 50% individual checked rarely. In case of chemicals and their safety level information, 25% of the students were aware of it, 33% of students were unaware, 42% of the students have specified that they had some idea about some chemicals and their safety levels.
When asked about the harmful effects of chemicals in junk food, 49% of the students said they were not aware of the consequences, 45% were not and only very few 6% students have opted for other reasons. Response to various parameters such as quality, nutrient fact label, chemicals and their safety and harmful effects are given in figure four.
In the figure five it is evident that about 85% of the respondents considered junk food as unhealthy and remaining 15% considered junk food as healthy. From the figure six data depicts that 62% of individuals agreed that junk food consumption makes person to eat more and 38% have disagreed for the same.
The focus of our finding include the views of adolescents on junk foods, individual preferences, consumption rates and familiarity regarding the harmful health effects of overconsumption of junk food products. From our study we have identified certain factors responsible for increased eating habits of junk foods include: First, the role of television advertisements which attracts the college students to junk foods.
Second, majority of the sample population agreed to the fact of getting addicted to junk foods. Third, a defiant need for the young generation of teens to understand that the nutrient facts and various chemical additives are added to enhance junk food eating since the awareness of individuals about delimiting nutrient levels in junk foods has to be dissipated more for effective, safe and a healthy balanced diet. .