Cost and Calorie Analysis of Fast Food Consumption in College Students
Kimberly B. Heidal, Sarah E. Colby, Ginger T. Mirabella, Khalid S. Al-Numair, Brenda Bertrand, Kevin H. Gross
Department of Community Health Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences-King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Nutrition Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Department of Nutrition Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA; 2Sarah E. Colby, Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Sarah E. Colby, Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Statistics & Research Consultant, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
DOI: 10.4236/fns.2012.37124   PDF    HTML     13,147 Downloads   23,708 Views   Citations


The purpose of this research was to assess money spent and calories consumed by college students from fast food restaurants located on and around a southern college campus. A convenience sample (n = 152) of undergraduate college students (aged 18 - 24) at a southern university participated in a survey that measured dietary intake from seven local fast food chains using a researcher developed food frequency questionnaire and a lifestyle behavior survey that collected data on health practices. A strong positive correlation was found between total monthly fast food expense and total monthly fast food caloric consumption (r(150) = 0.94, p < 0.05), indicating a significant linear relationship between the two variables. An independent-samples t test comparing the mean monthly fast food restaurant expense males to females found a significant difference between the two groups (t(150) = 4.19, p < 0.05).The more money spent by college students contributed to a higher amount of calories consumed from fast food in a typical month. Future research needs to determine if college students are contributing to the high obesity rate and if limiting fast food restaurants on and around college campuses would help decrease fast food consumption in college students.

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K. Heidal, S. Colby, G. Mirabella, K. Al-Numair, B. Bertrand and K. Gross, "Cost and Calorie Analysis of Fast Food Consumption in College Students," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 942-946. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.37124.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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