Impact of Fast Foods and Snacks Upon Adolescents’ BMI at Secondary Schools in Baghdad City
Objective: The study aimed to identify the adolescents› fast foods and snacks, and find out the relationship
between fast foods, snacks and adolescents› demographic data (gender and Body Mass Index).
Methodology: A descriptive (cross- section) study design was conducted impact of fast foods and snacks
upon adolescents’ Body Mass Indexat secondary schools in Baghdad city, starting from 20th of April2013 to
the end of October 2014. Non- probability (purposive) systematically random sample of 1254 adolescents
were chosen it from secondary schools of both sides of Al-Karkh and Al-Russafa sectors. Data was collected
through a specially constructed questionnaire format include (12) items multiple choice questions. The
validity of the questionnaire was determined through a panel of experts related to the field of the study, and
the reliability through a pilot study. The data were analyzed through the application of descriptive statistical
analysis frequency & percentages, and inferential statistical analysis, chi-square test, are used.
Results: The study results revealed that one third and half of the sample daily take soft drink, sometimes
eating cake and other crackers, chocolate or cocoa, ice cream, sweets, chips, artificial fruit juice, milk and
dairy products, beans nuts, and drink tea or coffee respectively. The study sample have more than one third
(37.4%) sometimes eat fast food in their home, and (38.1%) seldom eat fast food from out.Eat the snacks
food highly significant association with adolescents› gender buteat the fast foods not significant association
with their gender. There is highly significant association between eat the snacks and fast foods in home with
their Body Mass Index but eat the fast foods out homenot significant association with their Body Mass Index.
Conclusions: BMI mostly was at under and normal weight percentile while the other was overweight and
obese. Adolescents› eating habits related to their gender and BMI have highly significance for snacks and
fast food in home.
Recommendation: The study recommended that Ministry Of Health need to activate the healthy eating
snacks and fast foods program within school health service programs, and Ministry of Education should
be involved their teachers in the healthy eating programs & training them on the healthy eating strategies.