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Fast-food consumers in Singapore: demographic profile, diet quality and weight status

Whitton, Clare, Ma, Yi, Bastian, Amber Carla, Fen Chan, Mei, Chew, Ling
Public health nutrition 2014 v.17 no.8 pp. 1805-1813
body mass index, cross-sectional studies, educational status, energy intake, income, nutrient content, nutritional adequacy, obesity, saturated fats, young adults, Singapore
To determine the demographic profile of fast-food consumers among adult Singapore residents and ascertain whether fast-food consumption frequency is associated with diet quality and weight status. A nationally representative cross-sectional survey including an FFQ and anthropometric measures. Participants were grouped based on their fast-food consumption frequency as non-consumer, occasional consumer or regular consumer, with regular defined as at least once per week. Individuals living in the community in Singapore. Singapore residents (n 1627) aged 18–69 years of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity. Proportions of regular fast-food consumers were higher in younger age groups, higher income groups and middle education level groups. Mean daily energy intake was positively associated with fast-food consumption frequency (non-consumers 9636 kJ (2303 kcal); occasional consumers 11 159 kJ (2667 kcal); regular consumers 13 100 kJ (3131 kcal); P for trend < 0·001). Fast-food consumers were more likely to exceed the RDA for energy, fat and saturated fat, and less likely to meet wholegrain and fruit recommendations. Both regular consumers (OR = 1·24; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·51) and occasional consumers (OR = 1·52; 95 % CI 1·32, 1·77) were more likely to have a waist:hip ratio indicating abdominal obesity. Occasional consumers were more likely to have a BMI ≥ 23·0 kg/m² (OR = 1·19; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·37), whereas regular consumers were less likely (OR = 0·76; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·91) to have an ‘at-risk’ BMI. Fast-food consumption is most prevalent in young adults, high income and middle education level groups. Frequent fast-food consumption in Singapore is associated with unfavourable dietary and nutrient profiles and abdominal obesity.