FAST FOOD CULTURE IN OUR SOCIETY IUBAT- International University of Business Agriculture and Technology

IUBAT is the first Non-government University of Bangladesh which was established on January 16, 1991. It has a permanent campus on 5.5 acres of land and is currently situated in 4 Embankment Drive Road, sector#10, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh. It was approved under the Non- Government University Act of 1992 and 1998. The university was founded by Prof. Dr. M. Alimullah Miyan.

Mission of IUBAT is “Human resources development through appropriate teaching, training, and guidance as well as creation of knowledge conducive to socio-agro-economic development of developing societies in general and of Bangladesh in particular”.

The university is internationally linked with 60 universities in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Asia and Africa (IUBAT Bulletin, 2010). IUBAT is an English medium university and students are strictly asked to speak in English inside university campus. The programs run at IUBAT are MBA, BBA, BCSE, BSCE, BSEEE, BSME, BAEcon, BSAg, BSN, BATHM, DCSE and professional diplomas in accounting. IUBAT is situated on the bank of holy river Turag from where can be captured a panoramic view of the holy Isthema ground. The university has various facilities like transportation, advanced computer lab, well equipped lab of every departments and a library with various collection of books (IUBAT Bulletin, 2010). Uttara, Sector # 10, Dhaka

Uttara is a Thana of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The name Uttara was derived from the Bengali word ‘Uttor’, which means north. It lies on the road to Gazipur and adjoins Shahjalal International Airport (Khan, 1994). Uttara is a residential area, having an area of 36.91 sq. km. There are fourteen different sectors in Uttara. Among which Sector # 10 is one of them. There is not any official authority under municipality in Sector # 10. But, there is a People Welfare office situated, which looks after the problems of people of Sector # 10. But this office does not fall under any government body. According to the information provided by this office there are many slum houses that reside on the bank of Turag River that runs along Uttara Sector # 10. But there is not any official record for this. The people living in the slums change their place frequently due to many reasons as natural calamities (flood), no money to stay, the land is occupied by some other bodies like construction companies Approximately, there are more than 500 families residing in slums around Sector # 10, Uttara (People welfare office, 2010).

1.0.2 Scope of the study

The scope of this research is limited to Slums of Uttara, Sector # 10, Dhaka and International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT). I have just conducted a preliminary study in these areas to know about the consumption of fast food by these people in their daily life. In future, the findings from the research can be used to formulate different strategies to uplift the health of individuals.

2.0 Background

2.0.1 Introduction to Topic

Studies have shown that with the consumptions of fast food, people are more likely to have health effects like obesity ( Li,2002, Bowman & Vinyard, 2004, Leeds Childhood Obesity Prevention and Weight Management Strategy, 2006, Bowman, n.d., Grier,  2007)  heart diseases(Fast food and Heart Disease, n.d.) ,asthma (Breaking News24/7, 2009), stroke (Steenhuysen, 2009), type2 diabetes( Grace,2008). Mostly adolescents and adults are found to be affected by the fast foods. According to Transtheoritcal Model, behavior change is a process that occurs in the stages with people moving through different stages in a very specific sequence as they change. Consumption of fast food has become a behavior for the people so if they want to change or stay away from it they have to go through different change stages (Hayden, n.d.).

We can observe that the perception and practice of people are not going along. The reasons behind it are the advanced generation that perceives fast food as smarter, as part of having fun, family influences which means the family consumes the fast food as their dietary pattern. Also, mass media has a great influence among people where role models are shown taking fast food and having good body figure (Dickson & Nicole, 2009). It is also found that with slow or fast music in a restaurant customers are attracted to the restaurant and spend more money on food, although they spent significantly more on drinks (Meiselman & MacFie, n.d.). Profile of Bangladesh

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is busy and highly populated city with many more advanced facilities than other parts of the Bangladesh. Schools, colleges and universities are found to be more in number here. People here are very busy and always in rush (Consumer Behavior in Fast Food Industry, n.d.). They do not have time to prepare healthy meals because they believe that preparation of healthy foods require long hours. They are simply too tired at the end of the day to prepare meals with good nutrition and suitable caloric value (Consumer Behavior in Fast Food Industry, n.d.). We can see many restaurants and fast foods shops around the city. It is found to be very easy to buy foods from outside from any fast foods shops for many families (Does fast food mean fat food, 2008). It has become a part of their life.

“In Dhaka city for street vendors there is no policy that shows that street food

Vending can also be understood as a means of employment. Street food vending is not regulated in Bangladesh but operates haphazardly without any systematic monitoring system (Faruque et al, 2010).” In study conducted by Faruque et al (Faruque et al, 2010 it was found that most of the vending shops (68%) were located on the footpath irrespective of areas surveyed and 30% vending carts were placed near the drain and 18% near the sewerage.

In Bangladesh, this fast food culture started in the late eighties (Consumer Behavior in Fast Food Industry, n.d.). Day by day the intake of fast food is increasing and fast food places are getting popular. It can be easily estimated by the establishment of many fast food shops around Dhaka city. Definition

Definition of Fast Food may vary from person to person. For some people fast foods mean anything that is cooked outside of the house. Some think fast foods are foods which are generally high in salt, fat, and refined carbohydrates and low in vitamins and minerals. Many people say that fast foods mean simply the American lifestyles (Consumer Behavior in Fast Food Industry, n.d.). Some say fast foods are meal with high saturated fat and low quality carbohydrates, white bread and lots of soda and low fiber content. It is also believed that fast foods represent a dietary pattern that is the opposite of what is recommended for a healthy body (Freiboth, n.d).

For my study, the fast foods are any readymade foods that are served by fast foods shops like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), American Fried Chicken (AFC), A&W, PIZZA HUT, PIZZA END, Fortune Fried Chicken (FFC), California Fried Chicken (CFC, McDonalds. The items include sandwich, burger, fried chickens, combo servings, cold drinks, fries, pizza and many more fat items. As my study population is slum area too, I have considered the readymade food available in shops like packed biscuits, chips, and local items like singara, samocha, chop which contain high fatty oils too as the fast food for my study.

2.0.2 Literature Review

A study conducted in India showed that many youngsters visit fast food shops for having fun and change. Although they gave preference for taste and nutritional values followed by hygiene, they felt that homemade food is much better than food served at fast food centres (Goyal, 2007). “Street foods vendors assure food security for low-income urban populations and provide a livelihood for a large number of workers who would otherwise be unable to establish a business for want of capital” (Faruque et al, 2010). But, it has also been recognized that street- food vendors are often poor, uneducated and lack the safe food practices in context of Bangladesh (Faruque et al, 2010).

Fuzhong Li and his colleagues from Oregon Research Institute (ORI) have published a research article through the American Journal of Epidemiology which states that a high density of fast food outlets is associated with an increase of 3 pounds in weight and 0.8 inches in waist circumference among neighborhood residents who frequently ate at restaurants (Li, 2002). The researchers followed a sample of 1200 local residents’ ages 50-75 years old over a three year period using anthropometric and survey measures (body weight, perceptions etc). Researchers believe that those who are having fast food will gain weight and it will lead them to obesity. The study cannot be compared with mine as my study is between the age group 18-25 years of age and also I did not do any anthropometric assessments. Also, my study was just a short interview with some questions.

Bowman & Vinyard in 2004 did a study among 20 years and older in U.S. The study was done to find out how and where people are eating. They compared results from two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) surveys that were done 5 years apart. Those surveys showed that consumption of fast food has increased from 16% to 25%. They had higher body mass index than people who did not eat fast food and were more likely to be overweight.  The study can be an example that fast food consumption can lead to overweight. Hence, people should be aware of the items they eat when eating fast food.

In one of the researches done by Bowman et al, it was found that obesity increases with the consumption of fast food (Dickson & Nicole, 2009).The result showed that fast food consumption was highly prevalent in both genders, all racial/ethnic and regions of the country. Children who ate fast food compared with those who did not eat fast food consume more total energy and had poorer diet quality on days with compared with children who did not eat fast food.  There are lots of causes for overweight and obesity, among which high intake of energy dense foods (fast foods) is one (Leeds Childhood Obesity Prevention and Weight Management Strategy, 2006).

“Food Marketing to Children and Health” study done by Katherine L. Denlinger, 2008 as a course requirement had revealed the negative effects of food marketing to children. The health of children and youth in the United States has greatly declined over the past few decades. Around the whole many countries are experiencing high rates of childhood obesity. It has been found that many individuals who are obese as children are also obese as adults. One study found that about a third of obese preschool children and a half of obese school-age children become obese adults and this obesity has many negative affects including medical, emotional, and social consequences (Denlinger, 2008).

Clare et al in their study “Prevention of type 2 diabetes in British Bangladeshis: qualitative study of community, religious, and professional perspectives” have found that one of the ways  to prevent diabetes is by adopting healthy lifestyles which is done by staying away from the high sugar and fat foods(Grace et al,2008). This study helps to conclude that without consuming fast food we can prevent ourselves from diabetes, which is a chronic disease. The study done by Kozyrskyz on “Fast-food negates anti asthma benefits of breastfeeding” suggests that the prevalence of fast food can increase twitchy airways and wheezing leading to asthma (Taragana, 2009).

Fast foods are also the cause of heart disease and stroke. At the American Stroke Associations International Stroke Conference, study done by Morgenstern and colleagues in the year 2003 was presented, which had showed that the relative stroke rose one percent for each fast-food restaurant. During that time residents suffered a total of 1,247 ischemic strokes caused by blocked artery that obstructs the blood flow to the brain (Steenhuysen, 2009). They found that fast food have high amount of fat which flow in the blood and accumulates in the blood vessels with increasing year and creates a difficulty in the blood flow and leads to stroke.

Not much research has been done among the age group specifically 18-25 years about the consumption of fast food. Moreover, In Bangladesh no any specific research has been done regarding the perception and practice of fast food among people.

2.0.3 Rationale and Justification

I could not find any research done before under this topic in Bangladesh.  However many researches were done and have been doing in other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, Australia. Most of the web sites are filled with the researches and articles written by European countries regarding the negative health effects of fast foods.  Actually these fast foods are the foods that are served in European and American continents  and gradually it has entered inside the developing countries like Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a developing country. So, the government is more concerned about the development of infrastructures like health, education, supply of clean drinking water. The main responsibility of the country is to fulfill the nutritional requirement and make the health services access to each individual. People think that the establishment of fast foods shops as a part of development because these are mostly found in developed countries. So, at this moment the country as well is not bothering about the fast food consumptions and its bad effects in the health of individual. When the condition will be more serious and prevalence of obesity, heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes will be seen dramatically risen then only this topic will get more attention from the researchers and the government as well.

As a nurse, I have studied that consumption of fast foods can lead to many diseases. In hospitals we have to face many patients of obesity, heart diseases, asthma and diabetes. In fact every educated individual know that the consumption of fast foods is bad for health but still they want to have it in their diets. So, awareness programs should be conducted in the community. Serious steps should be taken in order to save the community from side effects of fast foods. Therefore, I would like to conduct a preliminary small study which explores the perceptions and practice of people about the fast food intake. This topic is a public health concern. If not treated in time we may very soon have lots of obese adults with chronic diseases like heart diseases, stroke, asthma and diabetes. In this case, findings from my study can be used for the patient teaching in the hospital setting during discharge planning as well as in the community setting. Hence, this study can be of great use.

3.0 Research Purpose and Objectives

3.0.1 The purpose of the Study

The main purpose of my study is to explore the thinking of the people regarding the fast food consumption and how do they practice eating these foods. The study will try to find out whether or not there is relation between fast food consumption and economic and educational status of people.

3.0.2 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of my study are as follows:

  • To find out the definition of ‘fast food’ from the people living in Slums of Uttara, Sector # 10, Dhaka and IUBAT students
  • To find out the food items that most of the people eat as ‘fast food’
  • To find out ‘how much people are cautious about the fat and calorie contained in ‘fast food’
  • To explore people’s thinking regarding ‘fast food’
  • To find out ‘why people eat fast food’
  • To find out people’s  thinking regarding the fast foods places and the service provided
  • To see if there are any differences in the way slums and IUBAT students perceive fast food
  • To find out recommendations from among IUBATians in order to improve the status of food provided in the IUBAT cafeteria

3.0.3 Research question

How do the students of IUBAT and slum population of Uttara, Sector # 10, Dhaka think and act regarding intake of fast food?

4.0 Methodology

4.0.1 Study design

Both quantitative and qualitative study designs has been used in the study which makes it mixed study. My interview consisted of semi-structured questions. Some questions explored feelings and perceptions regarding this topic. Some questions evaluated the situation and condition for this topic which makes the study mixed.

4.0.2 Study setting

The study took place at IUBAT, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, 4-Embankment Drive Road, Sector # 10, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh. Students were interviewed from the various places inside IUBAT premises. I also involved slum population from Uttara, Sector # 10, Dhaka.

4.0.3 Study population

My study population is the IUBAT students and the population living in the slums of Uttara, Sector # 10, Dhaka. Age group for my study is between 18-25 years.

4.0.4 Sample size and selection

I took 60 participants. I involved 30 IUBAT students where male and female students were of equal number and 30 participants of age group 18-25 years from the slum area. For selecting my participants from IUBAT, I selected various places. For example, I stood at the entrance of the IUBAT, library. I selected every 3rd student who came out from the library. I talked with them about the objectives of my research. Once they agreed to participate I continued my interview with them. Once I had finished interviewing that client then again I stood at the door and start counting from beginning and choose the 3rd   person to come out from library. If the chosen participant refused to participate then I picked up the one who came out right after that participant. I took my sample in a similar way from the lakeside entrance gate of IUBAT. I also talked with those students sitting in the IUBAT playground or lakeside arena. I talked with them about the objectives of my research and after they agreed to participate I continued my interview with them.

For selecting the participants from the slum, I walked in the slum community of Uttara, Sector # 10, and talked with the elderly people or leader of the community about my research. After getting their permission, I talked with people of age group between 18-25 years about the objectives of my research. If they agreed to participate, I presented a consent form and proceed with my interview. I went on similarly until I got my saturated sample size. In my research, I have tried my best to minimize the bias. Research assistants

I personally put up a notice at the IUBAT’s display board and invited for the volunteer to my study. I conducted the series of discussion with them and made sure that they have little idea about public health and are interested to assist me in my research. I also saw if they had the understanding level of the local spoken language so that it facilitates me in my research. Research assistant accompanied me during my research. He helped me take consent with the participants and create a healthy environment for taking my interview. But the whole interviews were taken by me.

4.0.5 Data collection time frame

The timeframe for my whole research study was 2 months that is from first week of March 2011 to the end of April 2011.  For the first month I was doing my data collection task and rest month was used for writing final report of my study.

5.0 Methods

5.0.1 Definition of Variables

Perceptions means what people think about something, what are their feelings or views regarding the something or some situations or how they take the thing. Perceptions have lots of influences and effects on the people behaviors and in their daily activity life. It is measured as negative/positive or good/bad (

Practice means how much people act according to their thinking. As not all the time people work according to their thinking (

5.0.2 Data Collection Methods

In depth interviews was carried out among participants. Semi structured questionnaire (Appendix II) was made regarding the consumption of fast food. I conducted my interviews on the working days of the week until we assessed the sample size. In-depth Interviews

In depth interviews was carried out among the participants in their free time. Participants were asked series of questions in private and confidentially.

5.0.3 Data Management and analysis

My research assistant and I gathered the data. I have used the descriptive statistics like chart, tables and frequency distribution to analyze and organize the collected information. This will help to find the similarities and differences between the information collected and hence compare my results. Data has been managed in my own computer and password protected .As soon as the data analysis has been ended all the materials and the data obtained will be locked inside a cabinet in the nursing office, IUBAT.

5.0.4 Dissemination of findings

Findings done from the study will be kept as Nursing research findings for course (NUR 490) for the partial fulfillment of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program in International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT). The research report will be made available in the library of College of Nursing, IUBAT. If the participants wish to know the results of the research, they will be provided with the information from findings at their own expenses by making a request to the authority.

6.0 Ethical Clearance

For my study ethical clearance was provided by the IUBAT authority. Also, as per the declaration of Helsinki as my research involves medical and human subjects, I have to be accordance with it protecting health and rights of people. For conducting the research we have to get a written permission from the concerned authority therefore I took a written permission from the IUBAT authority. Also, I have successfully completed my certification on web-based training course “Protecting Human Research Participants” conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) office of extramural Research. And, I have also completed a 3 credit course of Nursing Research (NUR451), as part of course in my fourth year at the University from which I have an idea about conducting the researches in the community.

Justice: Each participant has full right to understand that they can have their voluntary decisions about being the part of study. Hence, can refuse their participation at anytime during the study conducted.

Privacy: Right to privacy has been maintained by keeping anonymity in the data provided by the participants. No participant has been identified with their name. We have not even included their name in our report. Right to fair treatment was maintained. One of us members was always available in case of any clearance required by the participant.

Autonomy and respect: Right to self-determination was respected. Participants had the full right to ask questions, not to answer any one of the questions or terminate themselves from the study at any time.

6.0.1 Confidentiality

Notes, journals, and interview forms have all been kept in a safe place. I conducted an interview in a place where the participants felt free to share their views. All the data collected has been kept in the nursing office, IUBAT at the end of the study. I may ask the concerned authorities to store data for the future reference. At the end of the study the original data must be kept in a locked cabinet in the nursing office, IUBAT.

6.0.2 Informed Consent

My study involves the process of data collection by in-depth interview. Prior to the interview every participant were provided consent form. When they agreed then I approached and presented the informed consent forms to participants. This form was translated into Bengali to facilitate the process. (Appendix I)

6.0.3 Risk and benefits

My study does not involve the use of any harmful procedures and offensive words. There is no any physical harm concerned in my study. However, I was aware of the fact that some participants may feel shame or feel bored to participate in the research as they also need to find out some time for interview. Another risk may be that participant might think that I might disclose their information with the concerned authority and hence may hesitate to participate.

Regarding benefits, there are no short term benefits for the clients but in the long term many new ideas can be formulated from the findings. Some participants might feel good that someone is concerned about the health and their problem connected with it. They may find it interesting and exciting because they have something changed in their normal routine and is being a part of a study. They might have satisfaction that their information is helping others. My interview might also raise awareness regarding fast foods. They might think like as I am doing the research there must be something very important issues or very serious problems related to fast food. So, they themselves may be more concerned to get the knowledge about fast foods and take the necessary steps to stay away from the fast foods consumptions.

But, I am not here doing this study for the purpose of improving their lifestyles or their thinking. I am here just trying to find out their perception and practice of intake of fast food. The benefits of this research are indirect and not only to the group that have participated but also from them it can be passed to their family members and friends.

The findings from this study might be taken in consideration by university and in future university might assess the quality of fast food available inside and beside the university area and hence will be helpful for all. This information collected can be used as a reference in future if any further studies are carried out in these areas about the fast food intake.

9.0 Research Timeline

The research time of my study was two months, from March 2011 to April 2011.


Demographic data

Religion: Five male from slums were Hindu and ten were Muslim. One male of IUBAT was Hindu and 14 were Muslim. Six female of slums were Hindu and nine were Muslim. Four female of IUBAT were Hindu and 11 were Muslim.

Residence: All the participants from slum had their permanent home outside Dhaka city. Ten female students of IUBAT stayed in mess and five stayed with their family. Six male stayed with their family and nine male students stayed in mess with friends.

10.0.1 Practice of Fast Food Intake How often do they eat fast food?

Frequency SLUM IUBAT


Female n(15) Male





Everyday 8 3 6 5
Twice a Day 1 1
2/3 times a week 3 2 2 2
4/5 times a week 2 3 1 2
Sometimes 2 2 3 3
When shopping 2 2
When money in hand 5

Table 1: Frequency of fast food intake

From the study it was seen that different people had different frequency of eating fast food. Some of them ate every day, even twice in a day, others 2/3 times in a week, some greater than 3 times in a week. Some of them ate when they were out for shopping or were with their friends. Some people from slum ate when they had money in their hand. What time of the day do they eat fast food?

Here, the participants answered different options. These were as follows:

Time of the day IUBAT SLUM
Male n(15) Female n(15) Male



Female n(15)
Morning 3 4 3
Afternoon 5 7 4
Evening 5 7 5 5
Before evening prayer 4
Not fix time 2 1 2 3

Table –2: Time table for taking fast food

From the above table, we can conclude that most of the participants ate fast food during afternoon and evening time. Some of the participants from slum took fast food before evening prayer as well. Some of them did not have any fix time of the day to eat fast food. What fast foods do they eat?

To this question participants answered differently from slums and IUBAT.

Name of items IUBAT SLUM
Male n(15) Female n(15) Male n(15) Female n(15)
Pizza, burger, French fries, patties, noodles, sandwich, 11 9
Shingara/Samocha 4 6 2 2
Pyaju/ Baiguni 5 4
Tea 1 1
Pan 1
Others ( Biscuits/Bread/ Roti) 4 4
Fruits 3 3

Table- 3: Name of fast food items

Most of the IUBAT students answered the fast food items like pizza, burger, fried chicken, French fries, Patties, noodles, sandwich.Some of IUBATians answered Shingara, pyaju, samocha. Slum people answered the food items like pyaju, Shingara, pan, tea, biscuits, bread, roti. Some of the slums think fruits also as fast food. Which is the favorite place to eat these foods?

Name of place IUBAT SLUM


Female n(15) Male n(15) Female n(15)
Fast food centers (e.g. KFC, A&W, BFC etc.) 9 7
Nearby food stall 2 4 5 6
No specific favorites 4 4 10 9

Table 4: Name of fast food place

53.33% of IUBATians answered fast food centres like A&W, KFC, Bosundhara food court, Star kabab, North Tower. 20% of IUBATians answered nearby food stall. 26.67% of IUBATians did not have any specific favorites. 36.67% of Slum people answered nearby food stall. 63.34% of slum people had no specific favorite place. Do they eat in road side stalls?



Female n(15) Male




Yes 15 15 13 12
No 2 3

Table 5: No. of people eating in road side stalls

Almost all the people interviewed ate from road side stalls

100% participants from slums ate from road side stalls

83.34% of the participants from IUBAT ate in road side stall

16.66% of the participants from IUBAT never ate anything from road side stalls

What food do they eat in road side stalls?



Female n(15) Male n(15) Female


Others Aamra, Badam

Table 6: Name of food items from road stalls

Most IUBATians ate chotpote and Fuska. Some also ate pyaju, tea,  jhalmuri, badam and aamra as they reported

Slum people ate achar, jhalmuri, roti, biscuit,  pyaju, beguni

10.0.2Perception of Fast Food Intake

What is fast food?

Definition SLUM IUBAT
Male n(15) Female n(15) Male n(15) Female n(15)
Food that saves time 1 2 1
Fried foods/yummy foods 3 1 3
Modern food 2
Easily available food 4 3 1
Made by using lots of oil 2 4
Fun time foods 2 1
Dry foods/extra than regular meal 1 1
Fatty food 1
Food prepared outside home 1 1
Junk food 2 4
Takes less time to prepare/ Has vitamins 4 5 1

Table 7: Definition of fast food

There was different definition of fast food given by the participants. These are as follows

Food that saves time=4

Fried foods=7

Modern food=2

Easily available foods=8

Made by using lots of oil=6

Fun time foods=3

Dry food=2

Fatty food=1

Food prepared outside home=2

Junk food=6

Food that has vitamins=10

Why do you eat fast food?





Female n(15) Male


Female n(15)
Like to eat 5 3 4 8
Satisfy hunger 3 2 4 2
Time pass 1
When hungry/easily available/compulsion 1 3 2
To save time 3 2
When late to cook 1 3 1
When feel like eating outside food 1 1
Seeing others eat, I feel like eating 2 3
Addiction due to extra ingredients 1
When no food at home 3 1

Table 8: Why do you eat fast food?

There were different reasons provided in response to this question. These

are as follows:

Like to eat=20

Satisfy hunger=11

Time pass=1

When hungry easily available=6

Addiction due to extra ingredients=1

To save time=5

When late to cook=5

When feels like to eat outside=2

Seeing others eat I feel like eating=5

When no food at home=4

Why do you buy/eat from that particular place?




Male n(15) Female n(15) Male n(15) Female n(15)
Nice hospitality 1 2
Good food 3 2
Fresh food available every time 1
Good/peaceful environment 2 6 6
Reasonable price 1 2 1 3
Hygienic 1 2 1
Easy access 1 2 3 2

Table 9: Why do you like that particular place?

Different answers were provided for the participant’s favorite place to buy or eat. 40% of total participants responded to this question from the slums. Among them 10%  answered hospitality, 6.67% answered good and peaceful environment, 10% reasonable price, 10% easy access, 3.33% for hygienic. 100% of total participants responded to this question from the IUBAT. Among them,16.67%  available good food, 40%  good and peaceful environment,13.33%  reasonable price, 16.67% easy access, 10% hygienic, 3.33% fresh food available every time

Is there benefit to eating fast food?

Different answers were collected for this question. Most of the people answered that the only benefit to eating fast food was saving time and it is readily available to satisfy our hunger. While few think that eating fast food can be taken as smartness as it can be eaten in public. Some slum people believe that fast food contains vitamins.

Is there negative effect to eating fast food?

Male n(15) Female n(15) Male n(15) Female n(15)
Yes 10 9 15 15
No 5 6

Table 10: Negative effect of eating fast food

All of the participants from IUBAT answered that fast food has negative effect. But, few people from slum said there is no any negative effect of eating fast food. 5 male and 6 female said ‘NO’ from Slum. 100% from IUBAT said ‘Yes’

What do you like most about fast foods?

The participants from SLUMS answered that fast food contains vitamin, it has different taste, easily available so they liked to eat. IUBAT students told that the food is tasty, takes less time to prepare, can satisfy the hunger, contains extra decoration, can be eaten even while we are walking on road which saves time, shows smartness, crispy, oily. Hence, they like fast foods. Are you concerned about the calories/fat when you eat fast food?

Male n(15) Female n(15) Male n(15) Female n(15)
Yes 7 5
No 14 5 7 10
Yes BUT “I eat” 1 10


Table 11: Concern about calories/fat

40% of IUBAT students are concerned (they do not eat), 60% are not concerned. 63.33% of Slums are not concerned. 36.67% of slums know foods contain oil but still they eat. Do you find the price of fast food reasonable?


n (15)

Female n(15) Male


Female n(15)
Yes 8 4 4 4
No 7 11 11 11

Table 12: Price of fast food, Is it reasonable?

40% of the slums answered ‘yes’ and 60% answered ‘No’. 26.67% IUBATians answered ‘yes’ and 73.33% answered ‘No’.

Does fast food have any effect on your health?

Almost all of the participants answered ‘yes’ to this question. Some of them also experienced acidity and stomach ache after having these foods. People from slums said that fast foods if eaten more, causes harm ’pet betha’, ‘buk betha’. Students from IUBAT said that eating fast foods can lead to decrease in appetite, increase fat, increase weight if taken more, increases pimples, increases cholesterol, stomach ache, nausea/ vomiting.

Fast Food consumption inside IUBAT premises

Do they eat ‘fast food’ from IUBAT cafeteria?

100% of the IUBATians answered ‘yes’.

What are the common items they eat?

Singara, Pyaju, tea, kancha morich, puri, roll, Samucha, chop, biscuit/coke, cake, rice, lunch items.

How often do they take?

Frequency IUBAT
Male n(15) Female n(15)
Everyday 11 6
Once a week 2
2/3 times a week 1 5
Sometimes 2 2
Suddenly 1

Table 13: Frequency of fast food intake by IUBATians

It was found that most of the students ate almost every day from the cafeteria.

What time of the day do they take ‘fast food’?

Male n(15) Female n(15)
Morning 1 1
Evening 1 7
Afternoon 4 7
Lunch time 8 3
When hungry 1 2

Table 14: Timetable of fast food intake by IUBATians

Most of the students were found to eat during afternoon, lunch time and evening time. 6.67% took at the morning and 10% took suddenly when they felt hungry.    Are you conscious about calorie contained?

12 male and 12 female answered ‘No’

3 male and 3 female answered ‘Yes’

Do You find the price of ‘fast food’ reasonable?

Male n(15) Female n(15)
No 7 4
Yes 8 11

Table 15 : Price of fast food perceived by IUBATians

IUBATians told that they found the price of some items reasonable like singara, samocha while the prices of some items were reasonably high in comparison to the quantity supplied. These items include puri, sandwich, and parotha.

36.66% told ‘no’

63.34% told ‘yes’

Have you faced any effects on your health after eating this food?

Many students faced some problems after eating the foods from IUBAT Cafeteria as they have reported. These problems related to their health are as follows.

Causes Male n(15) Female n(15)
Acidity 4 5
Nausea 1
Stomach ache 2 3
Vomiting 1
Throat pain 1
Not yet experienced 8 5

Table 16 : Health problems faced after eating fast foods by IUBATians   Do you have any other comments about the ‘fast food’ provided here?

When asked question about giving any comments. Most of the students answered in the form of recommendations. Few of them did not give any comments. Some of the comments given were as follows.

Increase the food items, especially vegetable items

Price should be made less for some items

Taste of food should be improved

Hygiene should be improved

Vegetable ingredients should be smashed properly, e.g. potato while making chop

Increase the quality of sauce provided

Stop the use of rancid oils

Adjust the price of food with quality

Provide more salad if more items of food is bought

Add the bakeries items

Set pure drinking water

Need more space to sit


11.0.1   Practice of Fast Food Intake

From this small study conducted, it was found that practice of eating fast food differed a lot among IUBATians and slum people. As in this study, I have not separated the items of food provided in renowned fast food shops and readymade packed foods from Table I, it was seen that most of the participants ate ‘fast food’ almost every day. Slums eat when money in hand while IUBAT students eat as an alternative of their regular meal. Money may be the reason that slum people eat less frequently than students. The food that slum people ate was also quite different in comparison to that of IUBATians. This difference is all due to economic status and thinking of people. People from low economic classes do not have the capacity to go and eat in renowned and costly fast food centers like KFC, A&W, Bosundhara Food Court, North Tower etc. IUBAT students were all from good economic status so they could afford to go in fast food centres. Hence, the fast food place students preferred to eat was also different from those of slums.

From my study I have found that some of the slums prefer to eat these foods before evening prayer (Table II). The reason may be that this was the free time to relax after work because most of these people do labor work in construction sites or as house maids. This may be the perfect time for them to rest from their work. Comparingly, students eat mostly during afternoon or evening. As most of the students, 63.34% were living with friends in mess away from family so they might feel easy to eat outside food rather than cooking themselves as it saves time for study as well. Regarding, the choice of food items some slums also think fruits as fast food. The reason may be that they have conception that ‘fast food’ is food containing extra vitamins than regular diet. As they know that fruits contain vitamins, may be for this reason they kept fruits as fast food.

Eating in road side stall was a fashion for IUBATians. They ate Fuska and Chotpote from these places whereas it was a regular buying place for the slums from road side stalls as it costs low money. Study has shown that street vendors are common among low-income group of people (Faruque et al, 2010). Fuska was far too costly for slums. Also, the students of IUBAT were aware of the hygiene maintained at road side stalls. May be because of this, they ate only when compulsion from the road side stalls as they have reported.

At the IUBAT, students at the fast foods almost everyday that was provided in the cafeteria. Those students who stayed away from their parents were found to take these foods more frequently than those who stayed with their parents. Many students were not concerned about the calories or fat contained in the diets. They ate it without any tension. Most of the students did not experience any effects in their health after eating the foods in canteen but some of them experienced acidity. The reason behind this may be that the students ate oily foods in an empty stomach. So, from here we can also conclude that rancid oil is being used for cooking in our IUBAT cafeteria. When oils are exposed to heat, light and air for long time they get oxidized and become rancid forming the free radicals in our diet which are destructive in nature (Healing crisis, 2004

There were many recommendations put forward by the students regarding the food provided in canteen. Among which many students talked about enlarging the sitting space, adding the vegetable items in the menu, stopping the use of rancid oils, maintaining the hygiene etc. (Section From these recommendations we can say that students are not fully satisfied with the service provided at IUBAT cafeteria. In other side we can say that students are concerned about their health, they are observing every small services provided.

11.0.2   Perception of Fast Food Intake

From this study conducted, it was seen that there was a great difference in the way the IUBATians and slums thought about taking of fast food. Most IUBATians preferred to go to renowned fast food centres while slums did not have any ideas about these fast food centres. They knew to eat fast food from either nearby shop or road side stalls. The definition of fast food varied among these two groups.

From table 7, we can see that IUBATians gave the different definition of fast food as ‘junk food, crispy food, smart food, extra decorated food’ etc. Whereas most of the slums gave the same answer as ‘readily available foods’. Slum people also thought that these foods contain vitamins which will make them healthy. The reason they think this might be due to the advertisements they see on different media (Dickson & Nicole, 2009). So, we can tell that media is playing an important role in consumption of fast food. Most of the participants eat fast food as they feel like to eat (Table 8). Whatever the reason may be, to satisfy the hunger or by seeing others eat (slums) we can say that the fast food consumption culture is growing day by day in our society. It has collected huge fans.

When asked about the preference of the place to eat fast food, we can see that good and sound environment of the place is adding to the preference of eating fast food (Table 9) in addition to nice hospitality and good food. Although the participants did not elaborate about what good environment means but study has shown that good music played in restaurant also adds to the long staying of customers and increase in food items as well (Meiselman & MacFie, n.d.). Also, it was found that although people talked about good food and environment around, most of them did not talk about the hygiene. It seemed people were less concerned about hygiene at big restaurants. Only 10% of IUBAT students were concerned (Table 9). So, may be people already believe that these renowned places are clean and hence, they need not concern about that.

About liking to eat fast foods, many answers were collected. One of the students said “No family member tell us anything if we go and eat in KFC or other renowned fast food centre.” We can see from this statement that people of Dhaka city have started to prefer eating from fast food centres. One of the students told that “It helps to meet nutritional requirement like fats/calories.”Another student said “for people who need fats …its good!!!” From these we know that the students seem to know much about the contents of these foods that foods contain more fats and more calories. The slum did not give these complicated answers though. They simply answered that they ate to save time for work or these foods have different taste or even extra vitamins. So, they ate fast food.

One said, “Eating fast food shows smartness, can be eaten anywhere in public”. One girl told “I like to eat fast food because you get to eat sauce freely”. This statement reflects the thought of young generation. They feel comfortable to eat these items in public whereas comparing some slum female reported that they ate these foods like singara, samocha by taking home, they did not eat in public places. So, here we can still understand that the culture and education has bounded these ideas. The slums still do not eat publicly due to shy or just people will think bad of them when eating outside. The educated students are carefree about these thoughts. Moreover, they feel smarter.

When asked about the negative effects of fast food different answers were collected from IUBATians like “damage of teeth, increase in cholesterol, increase weight, increase acidity, nausea, abdomen cramps.” While slums reported about ‘buk betha’ and ‘pet betha’. From here we can understand that literate IUBATians seemed to know so many advanced medical effects of eating fast food. Few of them also reported that “Fast food has no effect if taken in right amount”.  “As a student the price of ‘fast food’ is too costly”, many students reported. This may be the reason that 73.33% of students did not find the price of fast food as reasonable whereas 60% from slums did not find the price reasonable. The reason may be people of slums are working and earning by their own although may be small amount while the students are running with their parents money.

From the study we can analyze that some of the IUBATians understand that it is our mistake as we have taken oil in an empty stomach. Hence, causes acidity. Similarly, slums believe that eating fast food relieves the acidity caused. “When I do not get time to cook early morning, I buy from shop and eat as it prevents to form gas”. When we compare the two situations here, we can see that the two groups have perceived differently. Also, although the slums knew that the food contains oil, they used to eat those foods while few IUBATians who were conscious did not eat these foods after knowing it contains lots of oils. In prior to interviewing, I was expecting that most of the female participants of IUBAT are conscious about the calories. Surprisingly, from my study I found that male are more conscious than females (Table-11).

From the study it was found that almost all people ate fast food that is prepared outside their home. Participants had the different view towards fast food. The food that slum people eat was not similar to the food that IUBATians eat. It was due to the economic difference and also education. Educated students are conscious about the fats and calories contained in the food and take food accordingly. The educated people think that eating fast food in public shows smartness while slum people prefer to eat at home. Slum people buy and take the food home. Most IUBATians seem to know about the effect of these foods but the uneducated slum is still unaware of the effects of fast foods.

12.0 Recommendation

People should be educated in public about the negative effects the fatty foods can have.

Foods prepared using rancid oils (re- used oils) should be banned in public.

Government should form a committee to check all the road side foods. As Street food vending is not regulated in Bangladesh but operates haphazardly without any systematic monitoring system (Faruque et al, 2010).

Fast food centers should meet the standards of dietary contained in food.

Every fast food stall should display the calorie contained in their menu. It is important to communicate the information about hygiene and nutrition value of fast food which will help in building trust in the food provided by fast food shops (Goyal, 2007).

Regular exercise should be part of daily life as fast food.

Advertisements in media should be given in proper way in order to promote health and not just the product.

13.0 Conclusion

In this preliminary study conducted among the slums and the IUBAT students, we could discover the various definitions of ‘fast food’. Fast food consumption was irrespective of gender or religion in my study.   From this study we can conclude that economic status and the level of education makes a great difference in the food we eat and our perception towards the food we take. Educated people are more concerned about their health. They have the updated knowledge about the effects of fast foods in our daily life.

Eating fast food is like a fashion for the younger generation. They eat it to enjoy and have fun as well as it saves time. Slum people eat fast foods as they see others eating they also feel like to eat. They saved money for many days so that they can eat outside home. Most of the time they eat these foods in compulsion to save their time from work. They have the feeling like these foods contain more vitamins than the food we take in our regular diets. Educated people are conscious about the fats and calorie contained in fast foods while slum people even do not know what is ‘calorie’. Although some of them know about the fat contained they do not care to see it and eat without any tension.

All the students of IUBAT ate the foods provided at the cafeteria. Many did not care about the calorie and fats contained in the foods provided. Students have recommended improving certain aspects of the cafeteria service. Increase in the sitting space and increase in food items especially vegetable items and bakeries were among the top lists provided (Section