Factors Affecting Fast Food Consumption among College Students in South Asia: A Systematic Review

Sanjoy Saha*, Md Abdullah Al Mamun, Md Ruhul Kabir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Unhealthy dietary practices have increased among college students in South Asia. Higher intakes of energy-dense foods may increase health risks such as weight gain in college students. The purpose of the study was to gather evidence on fast food consumption patterns and factors that influenced fast food consumption among college students in South Asia. Electronic databases (CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed, and ScienceDirect) were used to find relevant potential English-written articles. We followed the standard process of identification, screening, eligibility assessment, study quality assessment, and data extraction from the included articles in this review. In total, data were synthesized from 28 articles. Factors such as gender, being younger, higher socio-economic class, higher body mass index (being overweight or obese), study groups such as students from Humanities, low nutrition knowledge, and the internet addiction played the roles as positive determinants (all P values < 0.05) of consuming fast food frequently. Furthermore, taste, brand reputation, accessibility, location, price, ambiance, hygiene practice, variety, promotional offers, and timely service significantly (all P values < 0.05) increased intakes of fast food in college students. Engaged institutional nutrition education intervention and multisectoral approaches are necessary to reduce fast food consumption in college students along with enabling them to make healthy food choices.

Key teaching points 

Frequency of fast food consumption (daily to several times a week) has increased among college students in recent years in South Asia. 

This systematic review shows that a number of socio-economic, physiological, and behavioral factors influence fast food consumption in college students.

Commonly, male students and persons with higher body mass index consume fast food more often. Taste, price, and convenience, accessibility, availability, ambiance, and location also promote fast food consumption in college students. 

Nutrition interventions are needed to promote healthy dietary intake behavior among college students in South Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-637
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date22 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

User-Defined Keywords

  • consumption
  • factors
  • Fast food
  • South Asia
  • students


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