Fast food consumption, body changes and weight among university students



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Fast food consumption, body changes and weight among university students

Many of the foods offered in fast food, and in particular burgers and fried potatoes, contain high quantities of trans fatty acids, which are associated with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, a reduction in the concentration of HDL cholesterol, an increase in lipoproteins, low density, increased triglycerides, disturbed prostaglandin balance and promote insulin resistance, thereby increasing the risk of diabetes.

In an attempt to respond to these nutritional imbalances, the managers of some of the best-known chains also offer dishes with lower caloric intake such as salads and fruit salads on their menus. Foods normally included in fast food, such as burgers, fries and fried chicken, are classified among those with a high content of refined fats and / or sugars and / or with low fiber content and as such, especially if consumed frequently or in large portions increase the risk of obesity, which increases the risk of cancer.

High consumption of fast food are predictors of high cholesterol levels, an important risk factor for heart attack, stroke and diseases of the circulatory system. The study: Fast Food Consumption, Liver Functions, and Change in Body Weight Among University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study, published on the International journal of preventive medicine, explained: "Over the past decades, the consumption of fast foods has increased worldwide and became favored by people of most age groups.

The objective of this research was to assess the impact of fast foods on liver enzyme levels and body weight. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Yarmouk University / Jordan using survey questionnaire and inquired university students about their dietary habits, in addition to laboratory investigations of liver enzymes.

In the cross-tabulation analysis, only age and body mass index (BMI) were significantly associated with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzyme level. However, all differences between aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level and other variables were statistically insignificant.

The AST / ALT ratio was calculated and revealed significant statistical association with BMI of participants (P = 0.001). Change in body weight during one year was significantly associated with eating fast food (P = 0.031), drinking beverages with fast food meals (P = 0.001), and ALT level (P = 0.026).

However, this association was statistically insignificant with AST level. Fast food consumption among university students in Jordan was not significantly associated with increasing levels of ALT and AST liver enzymes. However, eating fast food and drinking soft drinks were associated with increasing body weight, which is expected to have adverse effect on liver functions in the long term."