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How fast food affects Thai teenagers life?

By Peerapat Lertvivattrakul (Flook)


Literature review
In today's world, we cannot deny that many people consume fast food as their meals,
especially the Thai youth. This is because they can access this food easily. From this
point, it can lead to many factors that affect Thai teenagers' lives such as their health,
convenience, money, and behavior.

1. Health
"Increased intake of saturated fat and refined sugars underlies much of the
problem of emerging obesity all over the world. This includes middle-income countries
like Thailand, which are subject to successful marketing of Western fast foods especially
targeted at adolescents" (Seubsman, S. A., Kelly, M., Yuthapornpinit, P., & Sleigh, A.
2009). Thai teenagers love to eat fast food. By consuming a lot of it, they are at risk for
getting health problems. Teens will gain a lot of trans-fat, sugar, and salt. Those are from
the ingredients of fast food. This fat can cause teens to be overweight. "Nowadays,
prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing rapidly both in children and adults,
with many health consequences" (Jirapon C. 2008). With overweight adolescence, they
may have problems in the future. For instance, when they eat fast food, they usually
drink soft drink with their meals. This makes them gain high amount of sugar from the
soft drink. Their bodies will store the sugar, and when they have a high level of sugar,
they can become diabetic and have cardiovascular diseases in the future. "In Thailand,
high sugar consumption has been linked to diabetes and excessive sodium intake to
high blood pressure and kidney failure" (Wibulpolprasert, 2008). "People are likely to
consume fast food because of the addiction to the taste of fat and sugar" (Mattsson and
Helmersson, 2007). These addictions are directly mentioned that people will have a
higher risk of getting health problems from consuming fast food.

2. Convenience
When people muse upon food during rush hour, fast food seems to be the first
choice comes to mind. They can get their food faster due to the pressure of time.
Specifically for teens, they sometimes have a party and have fast food with their friends
because they can find this kind of food easily and most of the teens love to eat them too.
Sometimes, when they have to go to school or go somewhere else, they need to find
some food that they like and do not take much of their time because they may have to
fight with traffic. "About half of sampled youth consumed fast food regularly, induced by
the appeal of modern' lifestyles, social events and marketing, as well as by the
convenience, speed and taste." (Sam-ang S. 2009) Due to busy lifestyle, they can
access to fast food easier. People can order fast food from their home, and they just wait
until their foods are served. "Children spent most of their times watching television and
playing computer games, including spending their time in traffic congestion" (Sangsom
S. 2008). From these points, it shows that fast food has become a major role in today's
world. It makes every person have more convenience due to urban lifestyle.

3. Marketing
Most of customers that consume fast food in Thailand are adolescence, especially
in urban areas. "Teenagers spend their lives follow trends. They spend money for
luxuries, mobile phone, and cosmetics. They prefer eating fast food and other food items
as seen in advertisements" (Department of Mental Health, 2004). Many advertisements
persuade customers with promotions or new products, and when these proclamations
come out, many teenagers will start to want them due to market machinery. This will
make a number of fast food customer increase because many customers want to try
new food, or they are interested in promotions. Other factors that make the number of
fast food customer grow rapidly are due to the cost and the stores. Some areas do not
have as many stores as in urbanization areas. Therefore, many customers cannot buy
food. Sometimes, some people think that fast food is more expensive than the street
food. This affects people who live in rural areas because they cannot find fast food
restaurants near their homes such as. Hence, there may be two reasons. "First, in
Thailand fast food was quite expensive particularly for adolescent; hence they could not
approach it easily. Second, Phuttha Monthon district does not have many fast food
restaurants when comparing with urban areas like Bangkok. Therefore, fast food
consumption among adolescence here was not so high" (Jirapon C. 2008).

4. Behavior
"This survey has also revealed the changing trend of consumption behavior of Thai
people. As they become more urbanized, they become fewer fruits and vegetables, but
more fast food with a high content of fat and sugar" (Sinawat S., 2008). Living in
urbanization areas makes people change their eating behaviors, especially in teenagers,
they consume fast food that contains fatter and sugar than healthy food. With their
lifestyle, they have to join a lot of parties. Therefore, they have opportunities to eat fast
food than other foods. "Urban population tends to consume more energy dense diets,
lead more sedentary lifestyles, and are more reliant on markets to provide food than
rural populations" (Kennedy et al., 2004 and Mendez and Popkin, 2004). This is because
urban population can access to fast food easier than rural populations due to the
marketing and stores. "In aspects of opportunity, they had more chances to gain
nutritional knowledge and consumption behavior from mass media communications
through different channels such as television, radio, magazine, newspaper, and personal
media in the community. In the aspect of threats, they were faced with high cost of living
and no area for household cultivating and farming of basic essential food such as rice,
vegetables, and fruits unlike rural community." (Thiengkamol M., 2010). Therefore, rural
populations will not feel that fast food is suitable for their lifestyles.
Finally, from rural areas to urban areas, fast food makes people change their
consuming behaviors, especially in the Thai youth. They love to consume fast food with
high fat. Fast food can cause people to become obese and have cardiovascular
diseases. With the number of fast food consumer growth, it means that the marketing in
fast food industry in Thailand has succeeded. This shows that fast food has played a big
role in Thailand because it leads people convenience. Without being aware of how fast
food can harm their health, they keep consuming an excessive amount of it.

Introduction
Since Thai people have lived in the modern lifestyle, they love to consume fast
food, especially in Thai youth. They have more chances to eat fast food. From this point,
fast food can be the one of their choices when they want to get full. Not only is it
delicious, but it also gives the convenience for them when they hurry too. Therefore, fast
food can affect Thai teenagers life in many sides such as health, behavior, convenience,
and time.
Methods/ Procedure
Survey
In the survey part, I will do at our school because the age relates to my research
question that is about Thai teenagers. There are nine questions in my survey.
1. What is your gender?
- Male
- Female
2. How old are you?
- ..
3. Do you like fast food?
- Yes
- No
4. How often do you eat fast food? (per month)
- 0-1
- 2-3
- 4-5
- 6-7
5. Do you know that fast food is not good for your health?
- Yes
- No
6. What do you feel after you eat fast food?
- Weight gain
- Spending a lot of money
- Have to exercise
- Other..........
7. What do you usually order? (can choose more than one)
- Hamburger
- Fried Chicken
- French fries
- Soft drinks
- Other..
8. What do you think you will get from eating fast food?
- Taste
- Convenience
- Cost
- Other..
9. What do you want to say about fast food?
- .

Observation
In this observation, I will go to observe at fast food restaurants. When I go to notice
about the consumer. I will look for customer what they do in a majority, look for orders
that they eat, and look for types of people.
Interview
I will interview my friend in our school because I have to correct the data from
interview to analyze my research. There are about eight questions in this interview.
1. What do you think about fast food?
2. How often do you consume fast food?
3. What will affect If you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
5. Where do you buy fast food?
6. When do you eat fast food?
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
Results
Observation
I went to Mcdonald, Siam Paragon at 3.30PM. From my observation, I focused about the
menu that people eat, what they do during their meal, and whom they go with.

Order
From my observation about the orders that people eat, I observed around 50 orders.
- 40% are hamburger
- 30% are fried chicken
- 20% are nugget
- 6% are eat only snacks ( ice-cream, pie, soft drinks, french fries, and Chic Stick)
- 4% eat McKao Kapro spicy.
And, around 80% of 50 orders had soft drinks and french fries with their meals.

Activity during their meals
From my observation about what they do during their meal, I observed around 20 desks.
- 80% are talking with each other
- 15% are studying
- 5% are meeting

Whom they go with
From my observation about whom they go with, I observed around 20 desks.
- 50% are friends
- 20% are family
- 10% are couple
- 10% are tutor
- 5% are colleague
- 5% are alone
Survey










Interview
Interview 1
1. What do you think about fast food?
I think it is delicious, fast and fat. The price is so high.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
2-3 per week
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
I think my fat in my body will go high, weight will gain, may cause diabetes, and disease
that involve in fat that when I grow up, it will affect me.
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I will full, and get fast during my rush hour because it take less time.
5. Where do you buy fast food?
McDonald, KFC, department store
6. When do you eat fast food?
I eat fast food when I think that I don't have enough time. If I have a lot of times, I will eat
other food instead of fast food.
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
Dislike, because it can make me fat, weight gain, and have a lot of diseases
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I go with my friend, myself and take home.
Interview 2
1. What do you think about fast food?
I think there are many types of fast food: good and bad. Food court is good. KFC or
McDonald are bad. It's convenient and unhealthy.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
3-4 times per month
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
I think my weight will increase, and I will have more chance of getting diabetes. Also, it
will waste my money.
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I think I will get fat, some of the nutrients, and waste of money because I have to pay a
lot of money to buy fast food.
5. Where do you buy fast food?
Deliveries, take home, and drive thru
6. When do you eat fast food?
I will eat fast food when I am in rush hour, hungry, and after having a conflict with
someone else.
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
Like, because it has more convenience, and I can get it anywhere ex. Online.
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I go with my sister and by myself.
Interview 3
1. What do you think about fast food?
I think it is delicious, but it can make me fat. But when I eat I don't think about fat.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
2 times per month
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
I feel that I am fat after I ate a lot of fast foods because I don't think about this affect
while I am eating them.
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I think my weight will gain because fast food contains a lot of fats.
5. Where do you buy fast food?
I will eat at restaurant, but sometimes I will call delivery when I am home.
6. When do you eat fast food?
When I am go out home. Sometimes I don't have anything to eat, so I choose fast food
as my meal.
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
Like, because it is delicious.
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I go with my friends.
Interview 4
1. What do you think about fast food?
I think it tastes good and convenience.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
Once a week
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
I think I can get fat, and it will make me tired easily. Also, I may have some diseases too.
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I think I have convenience because I can get fast food very fast than other foods.
5. Where do you buy fast food?
I buy at fast food restaurants.
6. When do you eat fast food?
I eat fast foods when I am hungry, and when I have a rush hour such as going to school.
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
Like, because it is very fast to get fast food, and the price is okay. Although, the price is
higher than other foods, but I can have more convenience than other foods. This makes
me like fast food.
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I go by myself.
Interview 5
1. What do you think about fast food?
I think fast food is delicious, but it has many disadvantages. It can make me fat, but I
always want to eat it.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
Twice a week
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
I think I will get fat, unhealthy, high fat, and can be sore throat from eating french fries.
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I can get a good taste and have more convenience. Moreover, when I go with my
friends, I can have a good time together.
5. Where do you buy fast food?
I like to eat at fast food restaurants. Sometimes, I pass the drive thru shop, so I will buy it
and eat it at home.
6. When do you eat fast food?
I will eat it when I am busy and don't have enough time. Sometimes, I want to eat it
because I feel very hungry.
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
I am very like it because it is very delicious. Many teenagers love to eat them, so I love
to eat it either.
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I like to eat with my friends. Sometimes, my parents buy it to me after school

Interview 6
1. What do you think about fast food?
I think it is delicious and fast.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
Once a month
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
It may make me have disease about heart disease because it contains high fats
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I think I can get the faster time and get have more convenience. I think if I always eat it I
will be unhealthy.
5. Where do you buy fast food?
I will call delivery and eat at restaurant.
6. When do you eat fast food?
I will eat when I have no food to eat. If I have time, I will find other foods to eat instead of
fast food. Moreover, I will eat it when I am hurry
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
Like, because I can get fast food faster than other foods. Moreover, it is very delicious. I
think if I eat it, I have to exercise.
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I will go with my friends.
Interview 7
1. What do you think about fast food?
It has a lot of disadvantages. It is a frozen food not a fresh food.
2. How often do you consume fast food?
Twice a week
3. What will affect if you consume a lot of fast foods? (In your opinion)
It will make me fat. It has no vegetables, so I think it will make me unhealthy.
4. What do you think you will get from fast food? Why?
I will get many energies and powers because it contains high fat
5. Where do you buy fast food?
I will go to but at McDonald or seven-eleven.
6. When do you eat fast food?
I will eat when I hurry or in rush hour. Sometimes, I don't have anything to eat, so I will
eat fast food.
7. Why do you like/dislike fast food?
Like, because it tastes good.
8. Who do you go with when you go to fast food restaurant?
I like to go with my friends my family and myself.
Conclusion/ Discussion
Fast food is common food that every people can access it. In my research, I
studied about how fast food affects Thai teenagers life. As I have shown my survey
result, observation, and interview. The majority of Thai youth are 16 - 17 years old. The
participants are half of male and half of female. My research paper cover about food,
convenience, marketing, and behavior.
In my survey, the results came with a number of people who love to consume
fast food, the number of times that they eat fast food per month, how they think about
fast food, and orders that they usually eat. About 71% of teens like fast food, and most
of them usually eat about 2 to 3 times per month. Most of the participants do know about
the disadvantages of fast food. About 39% of Thai youth muse upon about weight gain
after they eat fast food. About 27% of Thai teens think of a cost that they have to spend
with their meals, 23% think about doing exercise, and other teens think about other
ideas. The most foods that they order are french fries, hamburger, fried chicken, soft
drinks respectively. According to the survey, the first things that consumers expect the
taste from consuming the fast food. The second is convenience, and the last one is cost.
From my survey the result related to the other surveys that people addiction to the taste
of fast food and eat fast food when they are in rush hour.
In my observation, I went to observe at McDonald, Siam Paragon. I focused
about the menu that people order, what they do during their meal, and whom they go
with. I noticed about 50 orders. The popular food that they ordered is hamburger. I think
that there are many kinds of hamburgers. About 15 people ate fried chicken, 10 people
ate nugget, 3 people eat only snacks, and 2 people ate McKao Kapro spicy. Most of
them around 40 people bought their meals with soft drinks and french fries. This
because they bought their meals in from of promotion sets to get cheaper price due to
the marketing. Then, I observed 20 desks. During their meals, most of them are talking
and having fun together with their friends. About 3 desks were studying with their tutors,
and 1 desk was meeting with their colleague. Half of 20 desks came with their friends.
About 4 desks came with their family, 2 desks came with their couple, 2 desks came with
their tutors. A few of them went alone.
In my interview, from interviewed 8 youths, they consume fast food about 2 times
per week. Most of them think that fast food will make they get more convenience, have a
well taste and get fat. They think that if they eat a lot of fast food, they will get fat,
unhealthy, causes to the diabetes, and waste a lot of money. The participants told that
they might have a gain weight, and fat after consuming fast food. They can be
comfortable to do things when they are in rush hours. Most of them prefer to eat food at
restaurants. Some of them eat at home from the delivery, and a few of them prefer to
use drive thru to get their food due to their convenience of time and their opportunities
that they have. They like to eat with their friends the most because they can have a nice
time together. Some people may go with their families and go by themselves.
Fast food has involved Thai youths since they have been moved to modern
lifestyle. They are all have rush hour. They can safe their times by consuming fast food
which take less time. Due to the marketing that fast food industries have made, they can
access to the promotions or deals easier. They can obviously see in many places such
as the advertisement, brochure, or medias. Fast food industries can success easily if
they can point the goals that the teens want. Sometimes, they have a promotion or free
gift to people who buy the food. These will make a number of people consumes fast food
increase. From this point, it means that the numbers of people who gain the risks of
disease are higher than before. This because fast food consists of fats and sugars more
than other foods. Therefore, fast food can harm their health if they are not aware the
drawback of fast food. On the other hand, fast food restaurants where many Thai youth
love to go there are one of the choices that they prefer to go. They can be meeting,
studying, and also having a party. These show that fast food has involved the behavior
of Thai teens while they are eating fast food at restaurants. They are not only eating, but
they also do other activities when they eat too. Also, sometimes when they want to relax
at their home, they just call a delivery to serve their foods. This make them feel
comfortable to order this kind of food because this food are served fast and have a well
taste. All these points, it seems that fast food has many effect in Thai teenagers in many
sides.
In conclusion, most of Thai teens believe that they will get fat, unhealthy, cause
with the disease, and convenience. They love to go with their friends at fast food
restaurants because they can talk and having fun with each other. Marketing also impact
Thai youth to buy food too. They will get a cheaper price if they buy in promotion sets.
They will think about eating fast food when they think that they have to face with rush
hours. These make fast food affect Thai teens life.
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