Time Transition of Routines in Fast Food Consumption-Importance to Public Health
Dr. Neelu Jain Gupta,
Professor and Head, Department of Zoology, Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Fast Food (FF) consumption reduces the nutritional quality of daily diet. FF is even more detrimental to human health, if preferred during night-time meals, because metabolism is slower at end of the day. Quality of food and time of eating are nutritional determinants of the health.
Aim: To study the association of anthropometric and societal factors such as age, Body Mass Index (BMI), health awareness with frequency of FF and preference for meal timings.
Materials and Methods: Through a cross-sectional Google-form food preference survey of 2887 people, it was sought to uncover a possible association between the perception and frequency of FF and preference for mealtimes. Unadjusted associations of people’s eating preferences with age, BMI and health awareness with FF intake was analysed using Spearman’s correlation coefficients, Cronbach’s α, Eigen values, odd ratios, relative risk factors andχ2-tests.
Results: The high odd ratio revealed greater FF popularity in adolescents and children as compared to adults. Principal component analysis revealed four important factors (Eigen value >0.9; factor weight >12%) viz., age, busy life, body weight and weekend drive. Taking FF as a food quality index, there was food quality jetlag between week days and weekends. Psychometric analysis revealed a positive association between preferred mealtime and FF intake.
Conclusion: Mealtimes regulate the human circadian system; therefore, health consequences of FF consumption ensconce other determinants of public health like night eating and lifestyle. The deteriorating effects of FF are associated with circadian disruption. More research is needed to highlight associativity of different lifestyle factors detrimental to circadian health.