Socio-Demographic Determinants of Fast-Food Consumption in Malaysian Young Adults


  • Nurhanim Mohd Hatta Department of Food Science, Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Malaysia
  • Asma' Ali Department of Food Science, Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Malaysia
  • Aziz Yusof Department of Food Science, Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Malaysia
  • Wan Hafiz Wan Zainal Shukri Department of Food Science, Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Malaysia
  • Khairil Shazmin Kamarudin Department of Food Science, Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Malaysia


Habitual fast-food, Malaysia, socio-demographic determinants, young adult


Fast-food is the fastest-growing food category in the world, offering young adults a quick, affordable, and readily available alternative to home-cooked meals. The objective of this study was to determine the socio-demographic determinants of the most frequent fast-food consumption among young adults in Malaysia. This cross-sectional study involved 405 Malaysian young adults aged 18 to 29 who participated in an online survey. This self-administered online questionnaire of habitual fast-food consumption was evaluated using a modified Fast-food Frequency Questionnaire comprised of 30 food items, while the socio-demographic profile was determined by age, gender, ethnicity, monthly household income, marital status, residence, and educational level. IBM SPSS Statistics version 25 (SPSS IBM, New York, USA) was used to analyse the data. The results indicated that the most frequently consumed fast-foods were fried chicken (77.6% of habitual consumption), ice cream (41.3%), and burgers (40%). A chi-square independence test revealed a statistically significant association between urban and rural residence and high fast-food consumption (i.e., fried chicken): X2(2, N = 405) = 22.924, p = 0.001. However, there is no association between consumption of fast-food and gender (X2(2, N = 405) = 0.044, p = 0.834), fast-food and age (p = 0.403), or fast-food and educational level (p > 0.05). Taken together, these findings have provided more information on the habitual consumption of fast-food by young adults. The Malaysian government and other health authorities may be able to develop an action plan to reduce obesity rates and other diseases associated with fast-food consumption among young adults.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Abdullah, N.N., Mokhtar, M.M., Bakar, M.H.A. & Al-Kubaisy, W. 2015. Trend on fast food consumption in relation to obesity among Selangor urban community. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 202: 505-513. DOI:

Abraham, S., Martinez, M., Salas, G. & Smith, J. 2018. College student’s perception of risk factors related to fast food consumption and their eating habits. Journal of Nutrition and Human Health, 2(1): 18-21. DOI:

Afolabi, W.A.O., Oyawoye, O.O., Sanni, S.A. & Onabanjo, O.O. 2013. Proximate and cholesterol composition of selected fast foods sold in Nigeria. Nigerian Food Journal, 31(1): 70-76. DOI:

Ain, N., Mohd Nadzar, A., Hamid, H., Mohd, A., & N. 2019. Fast-food Consumption Behaviour among School of Quantitative Science (SQS) Students in Universiti Utara Malaysia [WWW Document]. (accessed 9.29.2021).

ALFaris, N.A., Al-Tamimi, J.Z., Al-Jobair, M.O. & Al-Shwaiyat, N.M. 2015. Trends of fast food consumption among adolescent and young adult Saudi girls living in Riyadh. Food & Nutrition Research, 59(1): 26488. DOI:

Alsabieh, M., Alqahtani, M., Altamimi, A., Albasha, A., Alsulaiman, A., Alkhamshi, A., Habib, S.S. & Bashir, S. 2019. Fast food consumption and its associations with heart rate, blood pressure, cognitive function and quality of life. Pilot study. Heliyon, 5(5): e01566. DOI:

Ameen, M., Latif, M., Iqbal, M.F., Ahmad, F., Ali, J., Yaqoob, I., Hasan, M.U., Sagheer, M., Ahmed, M. & Iqbal, Z. 2018. Evaluation of best exposure period of phosphine against insect complex in stored maize. International Journal of Current Research Biology Medcine, 3(3): 22-25.

Bahadoran, Z., Mirmiran, P., Hosseini-Esfahani, F. & Azizi, F. 2013. Fast food consumption and the risk of metabolic syndrome after 3-years of follow-up: Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(12): 1303-1309. DOI:

Che, M.R., Zulqernain, N.S., & Zaid, N.A.M. 2016. Profiling of Malaysian young consumers towards fast food consumptions. Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences, 6(7): 20-27.

Chee, S.S., Zawiah, H., Ismail, M.N. & Ng, K.K. 1996. Anthropometry, dietary patterns and nutrient intakes of Malaysian estate workers. Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, 2(2): 112-126.

Cheong, C.K., Yoon Ling, C., Kuang Hock, L., Mohd Ghazali, S., Chien Huey, T., Che Ibrahim, M. K., Baharudin, A., Siew Man, C., Yong Kang, C., Ani Ahmad, N. & Yusoff, A.F. 2019. Association between availability of neighborhood fast food outlets and overweight among 5-18 year-old children in peninsular Malaysia: a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(4): 593. DOI:

De Vogli, R., Kouvonen, A. & Gimeno, D. 2014. The influence of market deregulation on fast food consumption and body mass index: a cross-national time series analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92: 99-107A. DOI:

Department of Statistics Malaysia. 2020. Urban and rural definition [WWW Document]. (accessed 5.20.2021)

Dowarah, L.J., Bhowmick, D.R. & Chakraborty, S. 2020. Fast food consumption behaviour among college Students-A case study in Tinsukia. Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science Journal, 8(2): 371-379. DOI:

Goon, S., Bipasha, M.S. & Islam, M.S. 2014. Fast food consumption and obesity risk among university students of Bangladesh. European Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2(6): 99-104. DOI:

Goyal, A. & Singh, N.P. 2007. Consumer perception about fast-food in India: An exploratory study. British Food Journal, 109(2): 182-195. DOI:

Hidaka, B.H., Hester, C.M., Bridges, K.M., Daley, C.M. & Greiner, K.A. 2018. Fast-food consumption is associated with higher education in women, but not men, among older adults in urban safety-net clinics: A cross-sectional survey. Preventive Medicine Reports, 12: 148-151. DOI:

Hoerger, M. 2010. Participant dropout as a function of survey length in internet-mediated university studies: Implications for study design and voluntary participation in psychological research. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13(6): 697-700. DOI:

Institute for Public Health. 2015. National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (NHMS 2015). Vol. II: Non-Communicable Diseases, Risk Factors & Other Health Problems; 2015.

Khan, A., Dix, C., Burton, N.W., Khan, S.R. & Uddin, R. 2021. Association of carbonated soft drink and fast food intake with stress-related sleep disturbance among adolescents: A global perspective from 64 countries. EClinicalMedicine, 31: 100681. DOI:

Leal, Y.A. 2021. Cancer epidemiology. In: Oncological Functional Nutrition. M. Campos and A. Ortega (Eds.). Elsevier. pp. 1-40. DOI:

Man, C.S., Hock, L.K., Ying, C.Y., Cheong, K.C., Kuay, L.K., Huey, T.C., Baharudin, A. & Aziz, N.S.A. 2021. Is fast-food consumption a problem among adolescents in Malaysia? An analysis of the National School-Based Nutrition Survey, 2012. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 40(1): 1-9. DOI:

Ministry of Health. 2007. Malaysian Heart: Keeping an eye on fast-food 2008 [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 9.21.2021)

Mohammadbeigi, A., Asgarian, A., Moshir, E., Heidari, H., Afrashteh, S., Khazaei, S. & Ansari, H. 2018. Fast-food consumption and overweight/obesity prevalence in students and its association with general and abdominal obesity. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, 59(3): E236-E240.

Mokhtar, M., Yusoff, S. & Muhamad Murad, N.A. 2020. The prevalence of fast food consumption among undergraduates: evidence from Malaysia. Advances in Business Research International Journal, 6(2): 133-143. DOI:

Monge-Rojas, R., Smith-Castro, V., Colón-Ramos, U., Aragón, M.C. & Herrera-Raven, F. 2013. Psychosocial factors influencing the frequency of fast-food consumption among urban and rural Costa Rican adolescents. Nutrition, 29(7-8): 1007-1012. DOI:

Shah, T., Purohit, G., Nair, S.P., Patel, B., Rawal, Y. & Shah, R.M. 2014. Assessment of obesity, overweight and its association with the fast-food consumption in medical students. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 8(5): 5-7. DOI:

Shi, Z., Lien, N., Kumar, B.N. & Holmboe-Ottesen, G. 2004. Socio-demographic differences in food habits and preferences of school adolescents in Jiangsu Province, China. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(12): 1439-1448. DOI:

Shori, A.B., Albaik, M. & Bokhari, F.M. 2017. Fast-food consumption and increased body mass index as risk factors for weight gain and obesity in Saudi Arabia. Obesity Medicine, 8: 1-5. DOI:

Syafiqah, I.N., Riza, N., Chik, A., Zm, L., Syafiqah, I.N., Normala, R., Azlini, C., Lukman, Z. M. & Kamal, M.Y. 2018. Fast food consumption behavior among university students. International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science, Volume, II(November 2019): 2454-6186.

Vijayakumaran, R.K. & Nur Amalina, S. 2018. Influences of nutrition information on fast food consumption among undergraduates. Food Research, 2(3): 228-233. DOI:

Ying, T.L. 2016. Fast food consumption behaviour among generation Y in Malaysia [WWW Document]. (accessed 9.25.2021)

Younis, F.H. & Eljamay, S.M. 2019. Fast food consumption among teenagers aged between (13 to 25) years old and their effect on health in Derna-Libya. Journal of Regenerative Biology Medicine, 1(1): 1-8. DOI:

Zhao, Y., Wang, L., Xue, H., Wang, H. & Wang, Y. 2017. Fast-food consumption and its associations with obesity and hypertension among children: results from the baseline data of the Childhood Obesity Study in China Mega-cities. BMC Public Health, 17(1): 933. DOI:



How to Cite

Mohd Hatta, N. ., Ali, A., Yusof, A., Wan Zainal Shukri, W. H. ., & Kamarudin, K. S. (2022). Socio-Demographic Determinants of Fast-Food Consumption in Malaysian Young Adults. Malaysian Applied Biology, 51(6), 65–72.



Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)