Journal article Open Access

USE OF FOOD DELIVERY APPLICATIONS AND ITS IMPACTS ON OBESITY AMONG SAUDI POPULATION IN RIYADH CITY

Tahani AlShammari, Azzah Alzahrani, Nora Alobodi, Mashael Alrubaian, Ruaa Alzamil

Introduction: Overweight and obesity considered as one of the main predisposing health  factors  globally  and  contributed  to  various  chronic  and  non-communicable diseases, such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. Smart technologies and mobile applications (apps) software have become an extensive part of our daily
modern life and the intense use of these technologies encourages people to purchase everything  through  mobile  applications  including  food  ordering.  Methods  and objectives: This descriptive analytical cross-sectional study was conducted at Riyadh city  to  assess  Saudi  nationalities  intension  for  ordering  foods    through  mobile
applications. Data was collected by using a well-defined and validated questionnaire. The questionnaire covered demographic information, variables related to life style and health characteristics of the participants, eating habits of participants, and variables related to using of  food ordering mobile applications and various factors that influences
the participants to choose mobile applications for food ordering. Collected data, was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 24), where descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentage was conducted for qualitative variables and mean and SD for quantitative variables while analytical statistics such as Chi-square
and ANOVA was applied to compare between different dependents and independents variables. Results: about 633 individual who fulfilled inclusion criteria and accept to be involved  in  this  study  were  participated  after  filling  informed  consent, 66%  of participants were females and 34% were males. The found that the prevalence of
overweight, obesity and both  overweight obesity  was 34%, 23% and 57 respectively. Majority of participants 82% were ordered food using smartphone apps. The current study also arranged main reasons for using smart food delivery applications, where the quick and easy access to restaurants get highest score 85%, followed by saving time
84%, a variety of restaurants options 83%, advertisements 65%, quality of service 64%, long working hours 61%, food menu photos and ways of food demonstration 53% and the impact of social media get the lowest score 44%. For analytical statistics the current study found that there was statistically significant relationship between how participants get their meals, marital status and occupation, p value < 0.05, it also found there was statistically significant relationship between marital status and BMI group, p value < 0.05. Finally the study indicated no any statistical relationship between participants’ habits and behavior towards ordering food using smart phone applications and BMI level, p value > 0.05. Conclusion: Still there is currently no research that in the field of ordering food using smart phone applications and its impact on overweight, obesity or BMI, so researchers should fill this critical gaps in the literature.

Keywords: Food delivery applications, overweight, obesity, BMI, Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia

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