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

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posted on 2019-08-15, 15:55 authored by Zahari Ishak, Suet Fin Low, Wan Abdul Hakim Wan IbrahimWan Abdul Hakim Wan Ibrahim, Abqariyah Yahya, Fuziah Md. Zain, Rusidah Selamat, Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin, Abdul Halim Mokhtar

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.


Ministry of Health Malaysia


Declaration of conflicts of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Malaysia

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Lecturer

Lead author institution

University of Malaya

Human Participants

  • Yes

Ethics statement

This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving research study participants were approved by the Medical Research and Ethics Committee (MREC), Ministry of Health Malaysia and Educational Planning and Research Division (EPRD), Ministry of Education Malaysia (ethical code: NMRR-13-439-16563). Written informed consent was obtained from the parents or guardian of all subjects and written informed assent was obtained from all subjects.


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