Fast Foods, Emotional and Behavioural Problems among Overweight and Obese Adolescents Participating in MyBFF@school Intervention Program

This study aimed to assess the association between the frequency of fast food consumption in the past week with emotional and behavioural problems of 624 overweight and obese adolescents (mean age = 14.6). Frequency of fast food consumption was assessed through a pre-tested nutritional knowledge, attitude and practice questionnaire. Meanwhile, the Youth Self-Report questionnaire was used to measure emotional and behavioural problems. Spearman’s rank-order correlation was used to measure the strength of relationships. Positive associations that are statistically significant were found between frequency of fast food consumption and syndromes of anxious/depressed (rs=0.082, p<0.05), somatic complaints (rs=0.139, p<0.01), social problems (rs=0.115, p <0.01), thought problems (rs=0.118, p<0.01), attention problems (rs=0.125, p<0.01), rule-breaking behaviour (rs=0.144, p<0.001), and aggressive behaviour (rs=0.168, p<0.001). There were also differences found in the associations based on gender, locality of schools and ethnicity. Therefore, adolescents should be discouraged from consuming fast food as much as possible.