Relationship of attitudes toward fast food and frequency of fast-food intake in adults

Jayna M. Dave, Lawrence C. An, Robert W. Jeffery, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the association between attitudes toward fast food and the frequency of fast-food intake in adults. This study is a cross-sectional evaluation of random digit-dial telephone surveys to identify patterns of eating away from home and attitudes toward it. Participants included 530 adults (94% white, 65% women, 70% married, 42% with college educated). Attitudes toward fast food was measured using an 11-item, 4-dimensional scale: perceived convenience of fast food (α = 0.56); fast food is fun and social (α = 0.55); fast food perceived as unhealthful (α = 0.45); and dislike toward cooking (α = 0.52). Frequency of fast-food intake was found to be significantly associated with age (odds ratios (OR) = 0.981, P = 0.001), gender (men women), and marital status of the participants (single married/partnered and divorced/separated/widowed). Additionally, frequency of fast-food intake was also found to be significantly associated with perceived convenience of fast food (OR = 1.162, P 0.001) and dislike toward cooking (OR = 1.119, P 0.001) but not with perceived unhealthfulness of fast food (OR = 0.692, P = 0.207). These findings suggest public education regarding the unhealthfulness of fast food may not influence fast food consumption. Interventions targeting the issue of convenience and quick or efficient preparation of nutritious alternatives to fast food could be more promising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1170
Number of pages7
JournalObesity
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

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