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Abstract

Background Global food consumption patterns have dramatically changed in recent years. One common consumption pattern that is shared by many countries is the increasing expenditure on food away from home (FAFH). Convenience and accessibility seems to be the two major reasons why consumers seek for fast food. It is easy to get fast foods anywhere, everywhere and anytime. Consumption of fast-food in the world is becoming an increasingly important component of the food market as more of the working class chooses to dine out rather than prepare meals at home. Despite the importance of the fast-food sector, limited attempts have been made to study the consumption and expenditure behavior of consumers of fast-food. Fast food consumption is increasing among kids, who might lead to many health conditions, one of them is obesity. The nutritional content of kid's meal in Qatar has often been overlooked. The objectives of this study are to assess nutritional value of kid's meal offered by some international fast food restaurants in Qatar and to determine density of international fast food restaurant offering kid's meal by municipality. Methods 6 international fast food restaurants that offer kid's meals were randomly selected. The selected restaurants were McDonald's, Burger king, KFC, Hardee's, Papa john's, and DQ Grill & Chill. We assessed the number of branches of the restaurants using phone applications zomato and talabat. These applications allow the user to know the location and the numbers of branches in different municipalities. We used also the official restaurants websites to collect data of the nutrient content of kids’ meals offered by the 6-international restaurant in Qatar. Also, we used GPS to make sure of the location and the number of these restaurant. All the restaurant offered 4 combinations of kid's meals except Papa John's offered 4 meals. We selected from each restaurant chain 25% of the total branches available in Qatar. During our visit, we asked for nutrition fact of meals offered for kid's. Only McDonald's provide nutrition fact with meals. For other restaurants, we got the information from their official websites or management department. We calculated the density by dividing the number of international fast food over the total number of aged 1-9 years old multiplying by 1000. SPSS version 23 windows was used to analyze the data. We compared the differences in calories, fat, carbohydrate, protein, fiber and sodium content in kid's meals using the one-way ANOVA (at p < 0.005). Results McDonald»s has the highest number of outlets which represent 41 out of 133 international fast food outlets offering kids meals and the DQ grill and chill had the lowest number of outlet which represent 5 out of 133. The average nutrients content of 23 kid»s meal offered by international fast food restaurants in Qatar was 653.30 ± 31.5 calories for calories contents, 21.61 ± 10.24 g for protein content, 28.32 ± 9.07 g for fat content, 84.57 ± 19.22 g for CHO content, 4.40 ± 2.79 g for fiber content and 968 ± 372.31 mg for sodium content. The percentage of covering the RDA calories recommendation of children aged 1-9 years old by 23 kid»s meals offered by six international fast food in Qatar was 47.8 ± 0.02% for calories, 134.6 ± 0.13% for protein, 58.9 ± 0.04% for fat, 63.6 ± 0.03% for CHO, 20.2 ± 0.03% for fiber and 91.4 ± 0.08% for sodium. In general, international fast food kid's meals are rich in carbohydrates, fat, protein, sodium and low in fiber. Conclusion Nowadays children are eating foods prepared outside the home more frequently than ever, improving the nutritional quality of food items offered at fast-food restaurants can contribute to important gains in population health. In this study, we found that fast food meals are nutritionally inadequate and its regular consumption is associated with excess intake of calories, fat, sodium, protein, carbohydrate, and low fiber intake.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2018.HBPD216
2018-03-15
2019-12-10
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