Junk food consumption in Abu Dhabi

  • Uncategorized


Junkfood consumption in Abu Dhabi







Research Proposal 5

Background and Significance 6

Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority 6

SWOT Analysis ADFCA 6

Problem Statement 7

Significance of the study 7

Research Design and Methods 7

Research design 7

Research Sample 8

Data Collection 8

Data Analysis 8

Ethical Consideration 9

Limitations of the study 9


Introduction: Background information 10

Food consumption pattern 10

Health and nutrition situation in Abu Dhabi 10

Advertisement influence 11

Lifestyles and culture 11

Government regulation 12

Addiction 12

Locality 13

Change in the people life styles 13

Tastes and preferences 14

Different levels of people 15

Cheap and convenience 16

Availability 16

Themes and Organization 17


Primary data collection methods 18

Secondary data collection methods 19

Sampling methods and the sample size 19

Qualitative and quantitative data 20


Response rate 21

Reliability analysis 22

Demographic information 22

Addiction / frequency of consumption 24

Demand for junk food 25

Where people take junk food 26

Advertisement 27

Effects of increase in price 28

Government regulations 29

Consumers’ awareness on the health risks associated with junk foods 30

Regression analysis 31






Appendix A 36

Appendix B 38


Thispaper is a comprehensive analysis of the research study conducted onthe reason why there is an increase in the consumption of junk foodin Abu Dhabi. This particular paper provides a summary of theprojects literature review, findings and recommendations andconclusion. It has also all the methodology aspects of the paperwhich include the data collection methods, data analysis methods andthe methods used for sampling process.

Theliterature review provides all the requires secondary informationobtained different peer reviewed journals, books, and internetresources. From the literature review we are able to do a properanalysis of all the factors that relate to the high rates of junkfood consumption within Abu Dhabi. The factors that have beendiscussed in details within the literature review include the healthand nutrition situation of the Abu Dhabi people, the culture and thelifestyle of the people living within Abu Dhabi, governmentregulations, addiction, locality, the changes in the lifestyles ofthe people in Abu Dhabi over time and the tastes and preferences thatthe people have within the locality of Abu Dhabi.

Anotherimportant part of this paper is the research methodology of thepaper. This section comprises of the methods that were used in thecollection of data, analysis of data, and sampling method of thegiven data. The data collection methods include both secondary datacollection and primary data collection. The sampling techniques usedin this paper include the inclusion and the exclusion methods ofsampling. In this section we also have the data analysis methodswhich include use of descriptive statistics. There are a number ofunbiased findings on this research study which include the fact thatthere is no enough regulation by the government and its agencies onthe regulation of the level of junk food consumption within Abu Dhabiand its locality. Another finding is the major reasons why peopleliving within Abu Dhabi consume include the level of addiction,influence of the advertisements, lack of proper regulations,ignorance on the health effects of consumption of junk food by thepeople and finally the fact that the prices of junk is relatively lowmaking them affordable and available for the consumers with AbuDhabi.

Therecommendations that have been given to combat the high andcontinuously rising consumption of junk food within Abu Dhabi is thatthe government should formulate and implement proper regulations thatwill increase taxes and raise the prices of junk food to enablereduction of consumption. Another recommendation is that thegovernment should help in creation of public awareness to reduce thelevel of ignorance of the people concerning the health effects ofjunk food consumption. In conclusion, in order to reduce the level ofjunk food consumption in Abu Dhabi it is both the responsibility ofthe individuals and also the responsibility of the government to makesure that they reduce the availability of the junk food and to makesure that the individuals clearly understanding the health andeconomic impacts of high consumption of junk food.


AbuDhabi fast food industry is one of the biggest in the region. Fastfoods in Abu Dhabi are such popular to an extent that it was oncebeing served in hospital and school canteens. This issue prompted theAbu Dhabi Food Control Authority to intervene and reduce or ban thesale of junk foods in schools and hospital environments (Zikmund etal., 2012). This research is intended to discover the reason to whypeople in Abu Dhabi are attracted to junk food.


  • To understand why people prefer fast food over other foods in Abu Dhabi.

  • To explore the opportunities for fast food industry in Abu Dhabi.

Backgroundand Significance

AbuDhabi Food Control Authority

TheAbu Dhabi government is keen on promoting health awareness among itscitizens. Through Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), thegovernment tends to control and ensure food safety, guarantee thequality of food for population use and carry out the necessaryresearch regarding food safety. The authority is also responsible forfood safety as well as agriculture in Abu Dhabi (Al-Kamari &ampJukes, 2011). Their task include educating or creating awarenessabout food safety in public, as well as applying rules andregulations on food use and also coordinates with other governmentbodies and non-governmental organization to achieve food safety inthe country (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, n.d).


  • Strength: It is the only government body authorized to carry out food control in Abu Dhabi and has experience in handling of food, animal and agriculture issues gained through the years (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, n.d).

  • Weakness: The authority has several responsibilities which are not easily achieved.

  • Opportunity: There are several organizations supporting the authority both governmental and private, this can help them improve their work.

  • Threat: Population’s increasing demand for products may affect the authority’s work.


Overconsumptionof junk food is associated with different health risks includingdiabetes, heart diseases, and certain cancers. The eating of fastfood in Abu Dhabi remains high and businesses need to understand whythis is the trend if they are to enter this market.

Significanceof the study

Beforeentering into a new market, every business needs to understand themarket trends and more importantly the behavior of consumers.Therefore there is need to establish the reasons why people in AbuDhabi are attracted to fast foods. This will help in developingstrategies to influence the market. This may also mean giving ADFCAmore powers to determine what suppliers or restaurants need to sellto the people.

ResearchDesign and MethodsResearchdesign

Acase study on a section of AbuDhabi residents will be conducted. Primary research will be employedand will include interviews. In addition, secondary research willinvolve finding information from books, articles and the Abu DhabiFood Control Authority website to help update the research.


Theparticipants of this study will be residents of AbuDhabi. A total of 100 participants will be included in the study.Half of the sample will be working class, 25 college going students(who are above 18 years) and 25 of the participants will be schoolgoing children between ages 12 and 17.


Datacollection will be done through guided interviews. The interview willtake about 5 to 10 minutes each. The interviews will containquestions that will help understand why junk food is popular amongthe population. Interviews are a good to find information regarding asubject hence they were preferred in this study (Verd, 2004).


Datawill be analysed using statistical methods based on hypothesis andtheories. Theavailability of Junk foods isthe (independent variable) and the buying behavior is the(dependentvariable). Thecorrelation between the two variables will be examined. The Datacollected will be transformed into meaningful representation toidentify what is meaningful for this research. The results of eachresearch question will be explored to draw patterns to be used todescribe phenomenon (Verd, 2004). The identified findings will begrouped and then information represented on charts and graphs to makeits analysis easy and clear. Then it will be linked to the literaturereview to confirm it.

Timetablefor Research Activities



Proposed Start&nbspdate

Proposed deadline

Study of Literature on ADFCA


20th of sep, 2015

27th of sep, 2015

Seeking Authorization for documents from ADFCA


28th of sep, 2015

29th of sep, 2015



30th of sep, 2015

04th of Oct, 2015

Data collection

2 months

05th of Oct, 2015

05th of Nov, 2015

Data analysis


06th of Nov, 2015

27th of Nov, 2015



Permissionto conduct the study will be required from ADFCA as well as from theCollege management. In addition, participants will be briefed andparticipation will be voluntary and anonymity will be observed (Verd,2004).

Limitationsof the study

Themajor limitation is lack of enough literature concerning the reasonswhy people are attracted to junk food. Alternatively, the study canutilize online questionnaires to reach a larger population. This willalso help in saving time and resources as online questionnaires areeasy to administer.

LITERATUREREVIEWIntroduction:Background information

Alot of effort has been geared towards increasing food production inthe Abu Dhabi. However, the contribution that agriculture has made tothe GDP (gross domestic product) accounts to less than 1%. Efforts toincrease the production of food in this region is facing seriouschallenges such as unfavorable climatic conditions for both animaland crops, poor quality lands for farming, lack of water resourcesas well as skilled manpower for production of foods in those lands.The serious shortage of production of food in the Abu Dhabi hascontributed to the country depending much on importation of food.

Foodconsumption pattern

Recently,Abu Dhabi has witnessed a serious change in the patterns of foodconsumptions that has been brought by increase in the level ofnational income. In Abu Dhabi, the traditional foods involved bread,dates, fish and rice are changing into a more diversified diet suchas red meat and poultry. However, rice remains the main food and isconsumed in the most parts of the country.

Anotherfactor that has also influenced the food consumption pattern is thepercentage increase in the number of immigrants in the Abu Dhabi whointroduce a variety of consumption habits from different locations.The foods and consumption habits introduced by the immigrants mostlyends up becoming popular among the Abu Dhabi citizens.

Healthand nutrition situation in Abu Dhabi

AbuDhabi extreme economic growth has contributed to a rapid change inpeople`s lifestyles such as the nutrition and the health status. Inthe past, contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria amongothers were considered as the critical health problems. However, inthe recent past, diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and othernutrition-related disease are now posing a major health challenge.


Reportsindicate that on average, for instance, children view 6,000advertisements that support junk food annually. These advertisementsattract children by incorporating attractive colors and games thatpromotes these junk foods. The firms use the marketing techniques toencourage the change in the eating habits to junk foods. These bigfood companies collect personal information from the targetedaudience that is then used in adverting for these junk foods.Advertising to the children and the public in general by temptingthem to practice poor nutrition habits is prohibited as it consideredharmful and misleading to the children. The author of this articleargues that it is against ethics to advertise to children as well asthe general public and more so requesting information about thechildren’s age. The author further argues that this increasedadvertisement of the junk food in the media leads to attractingchildren as well as the general public to consume such foods

Lifestylesand culture

Thearticle was written by Eric Schlosser, a journalist with the New YorkTimes. The article was published as a sneak of the American people onthe trends in the fast food industry. It was intended only for theaudience who are concerned more with the society and the fast-foodtakeover on the millions of households (Eric, 2006). The source isvery helpful in understanding why people in the Abu Dhabi prefer Fastfoods over other foods as well as the long-term effects on both thehealth as well as the economy of Abu Dhabi. The paper is useful as ithelps to shed light why the Abu Dhabi people prefer fast foods overother foods. The source also goes further to provide some criticismsthat also will prove to be more important.

Thearticle enlightens how fast food industry has been influenced by thechanges in the people’s lifestyles and cultures. The changes inthese lifestyles and cultures have impacted much on the fast foodsindustry as well as the economy and the society in large.


Thearticle was published in 2014 by Karren Finney of the CaliforniaUniversity. The targeted audience was those attending school as wellas those interested in the fast foods industry. The article broughtforward the problem of regulating fast food industry in the UnitedStates (Karen, 2014). The article is of great importance to thisresearch as it addresses the opportunities of fast food industry as aresult of lack of government commitment to regulating the industry.It describes the gaps that are in the system and the fast foodindustry can exploit such gaps to exploit the industry. In theabsence of regulations and interference from the government, the fastfood market will continue to grow as well as promote its products andthe end results will be a lot of money going to the industry and atthe same time increase in unhealthy eating lifestyles. Poor nutritionis a problem to many countries but the Abu Dhabi is ranked as one ofthe highest in fast food transactions annually, and the number keepson rising each year and it is raising concerns with many healthspecialists.


Thesource is an article that has was published by an author known asPaul Kita in the Men’s Health Magazine. The author tries to focusthe article on the addiction of food by the people. He furtherexplores different situations that make people get addicted tocertain foods. He further analysis how food can trick the mind of anindividual making him consume more of the food that it is required.Paul Kita explains that the most foods that can get one addicted arethe sugar and foods rich in fat. The article is very useful as it tries to explainthe reasons as to why people prefer fast foods over other foods. Mostof the fast foods are usually rich in sugar and fats, and this bestexplains why people have a higher preference for these foods ascompared to other foods (Kita, 2006). The article further discusses howconsuming certain foods make the body feel high same as when anindividual takes drugs. These are the reasons as to why most peoplebecome addicted to fast foods. The addiction can be compared to sameas when an individual is addicted to alcohol or certain drugs. Thearticle will also be useful when one wants to know more about howpeople get addicted to fast food.


Theauthors in this article present a review of how the locations of fastfoods and the companies have an influence on the Junk goods. Theavailability of fast food is easier than the organic foods making itmore preferable. Clearly, neighborhoods of the low-income earnershave many joints that sell the junk foods (Krukowski &amp Harvey,2010). The author survey reveals that finding supermarket consideredto be of low-income earners is difficult. Moreover, big companiescharge high prices for the healthy food targeting only thehigh-income earners. The government also carries a big blame, as ithas not placed measures on the healthy food consumption byindividuals. The most major concern is the tax big companies bringout to the economy and only small measures on the health issues.Furthermore, the government needs to have the needs of the citizensat hand. Additionally, sciences carry blame on the addiction offoods. The authors present an overview of how companies perfect theirproducts through taste. This creates addiction of individuals to thecompany’s products, which in turn makes people crave for certainproducts. Organizations concern on human health is minimal despitetheir corporate social responsibility.

Changein the people life styles

Thearticles present the meaning to the definition of healthy food. Eachhas his explanation what a healthy diet constitute. The understandingof healthy diets have many, and people are confused as to which isthe best kind of diet. The diverse explanation of healthy diet hasled to individual ignorance on their health leading to highconsumption of Junk food (Lackey &amp Kolasa, 2014). Guidelines onhealthy eating are many, especially schools that educate the studentson the same. However, an enormous number of students considerconsumption of this fast food. In actual reality, the author’squestion the thoughts placed by individuals that there are only Junkfoods while there are also Junk diets. Consumption patterns havechanged with individuals shifting to eating Junk food. Nutritionistshave played their part educating people on healthy diets andproviding tips on the same. However, people are not concerned withthis tips as they consider it costly. The nutritionist is to blametoo as they provide their services at an excessive price. Further, inmost cases those who seek their services are highly supposed thosewho have the certain condition that is an unfortunate perception.Unless individuals receive education on the risk of the Junks, theissue of Junk will worsen rather than reduce. Additionally, there isa need for provision of alternative foods, which are economical andhealthy. Restaurants and companies need to come up with healthy andaffordable diets.

Tastesand preferences

Powellin this journal presents a review of the reasons behind increaseconsumption of junk foods, especially in the United Arab Emirates.Powell portrays analysis from different research on the effects ofcost on junk foods as a preference standard. In the study, he notedthat consumption of healthy food is expensive. Certainly, the savingsthey make on the consumption of Junk Food motivate people. Moreover,in a day a consumer of Junk food saves approximately $ 1.5 comparedan individual who chooses the healthy food (Powell, 2009). Certainly,in a year this cost turns to $550. The low-income areas have thehighest rate of consumptions of this food, as this attributes totheir perception of the price and savings. The long time price thatpeople will pay for treatment of chronic diseases related to thisunhealthy food is high when compared to the saving that people makeyearly. The author’s notes that the consumption of the fast food isincreasing as more and more people are moving towards substitutinghealthy food to fast food. Furthermore, there is high competition inthe fast food industry and hence many companies and restaurant preferto change less to attract more customers. Most of the competitionsare unhealthy as despite the price being low, there are restaurantand fast food joints that offer discounts that lower the pricesfurther. Undeniably, this movement attracts consumers who take theirfavorites junks to increase their consumption or become addicted tothe Junks.

Differentlevels of people

Inthis article, the author conducted research on the large consumers offast foods at a different level. Indeed, the teenagers have a hugeconsumption of the junk food compared to the elderly. The elderly areperceived to take care of their diets although this was not the casein the big city. The number of the elderly Junkies in the city wasalmost the same of the young although it was high. Additionally,Popkin &amp Larsen indicated that the consumption of fast food isdependent on the ethnicity. For instance, the Asians are consideredto have a lower consumption of junk food. Additionally, in thiscategory are the Hispanics who do not consume a high amount of fastfood (Popkin &amp Larsen, 2011). The author further analyzed theintake of fast food according to gender. Surprisingly, the male wereconsidered to have a high intake of junk foods compared to thefemale. Female who seeks looking young and beautiful, take care oftheir diets and may avoid foods with high calories and fat. However,the male prefer junk food as it is convenient, and they can filltheir stomachs easily at any fast-food joint. In terms of race, theauthor indicated that there are high percentages of the blacks whoprefer eating out than the white. The author of this article showedhow fast food consumption differed at different level and stages.

Cheapand convenience

Thesource was created back in 2013 by an author named Rebecca, whoattended Mount Holyoke College. At first, the intended audience wasthe students who were living in the campus hostels as they were fondof taking fast foods as to them it was very cheap and at the sametime convenience. The source further goes ahead to explain that mostof the people takes fast foods on regular basis despite the fact thatthey are aware of the health benefits that are associated with takingthese fast foods. Additionally, the article further states thatpeople take it consistently as it is cheaper and convenient ascompared to preparing food by oneself. Most of the people who canafford the food do not actually perceive the health benefits that areassociated with the fast foods since they are aware that it’s theonly food that they can be able to afford, it is cheaper as well astasty (Rebecca, 2013). The source is very useful as it analysis whypeople continue to prefer fast foods fully aware of the side effectsthat are associated with the foods. Also, the source includes moneyand how that affects the decision making in the choice of foodconsumption styles.


Thisarticle presents the reasons why current individuals schedule leadsthem to prefer fast food due to the convenience. Rizvi &amp Bell,show evidence of how people believe consumption of fast food leads tothe saving of time. In turn, this enables individual to take onactivities in a day. The authors indicate that individuals aredifficult in making time to consider a healthy meal. For instance,students’ schedules are tight with the lack of a plan for their dayto day activities. When students are studying in libraries, most havevending machines full of Junks, which becomes preferable to consumethan find restaurant and take a healthy meal (Rizvi &amp Bell,2015). Furthermore, the working class is not different as duringlunch hours most workers find eating at a fast food to be better.Undeniably, the authors indicate that laziness to pack lunch beforeleaving the house in the morning causes the preference too. Thepreference saves time and is a quick way of taking food to fulfillthe hunger. In the study, a huge number of individuals in the UnitedArabs Emirates are ‘Junkies’. Moreover, 60% of the population arethose who are below 30 years. These indicate that the young have ahigh preference compared to the old who are cautious of their health.The author opinion that a large number of individuals in Abu Dhabigather in fast foods joints due to their busy schedules. Briefly, itis clear that the preference of fast food can attributes to citieswhere people are busy and not have time to take care of their health.

Themesand Organization

Atpresent, people have changed their eating behaviors and adapted to anew lifestyle when compared to the past. Indeed, global recessionexperienced in the world has caused individuals to have tightbudgets. Certainly, this has led to change in eating patterns andresidents in Abu Dhabi have preferences on junk foods to cope withthe situation. Without a doubt, the issues of the resident’sconsideration on their health have become an issue of the past. Theconcern is to solve the current issues with quick solutions. Thepreference of junk foods is attributable to the price, which ischeap, compared to other organic foods. Undeniably, junk foods haveappealing prices compared to the organic foods. Individualsespecially the low-income earners may prefer fast food due to theprice. Certainly, this research aim will be to prove or reject thisassumption.

Thelocation of fast food joint in increasing the market is somethingmany companies may have a keen on. Indeed, big stores may finallyhave reasons as to why areas they target and the product they sell incertain areas may be having an impact on their profitability.Convenience and availability of fast food are essential in thepreference criteria of consumers. Probably, a high number ofconsumers may find it convenient due to their tight work or schoolschedules to consume fast foods than healthier diets

METHIDOLOGYPrimarydata collection methods

Theprimary data collection methods refers to the procedure of gatheringinformation from a primary source which is a more profound spotlighton the issue and under the supervision of the administration. Primarydata collection implies unique information is been gatheredparticularly in view of the reason (Cavazos-Zepeda, 2008). Thequestionnaire administration as one of the primary data collectiontechnique was either administered physically or through mail review.The email review was picked as a consequence of the remarkable studyof qualities and proficiency in gathering the information. The reviewcomprised of open ended questionnaires and that had been figured andmeant to guarantee that comprehensive data is gotten. Thequestionnaires were defined in accordance with the goals of the studyand additionally the examination inquiries of the study. Thequestionnaire was developed in such a way that begun from the easiestto the mind boggling ones in order not to demotivate the respondentsduring the time spent getting the data. An introductory letter wassent together with the questionnaire clarifying the reason behind theexamination.

Onebenefit of utilizing this questionnaire to assemble data is that itis less expensive when contrasted with different instruments. Theemail framework gives productivity and offers adaptability to therespondents to answer the questionnaire at their own free time andplace. On the other hand, the strategy has a negative impact in thatthe outcomes may be unjustifiable in light of the utilization ofjudgment in picking the example and low reaction time from therespondents (Cavazos-Cepeda, 2008). The questionnaires wereadministered and divided into three sections in order to acquireenough and adequate data from the respondents. One area will be toacquire data concerning the states of mind of individuals is in thepublic parks, Second is on the use of the fast food eateries andthird will be to get data on the example of fast food utilization(John and Vicki , 2011).

Secondarydata collection methods

Thisis a routines that is utilized to accumulate information and datathat has been recorded by another person at first with the goal ofusing in the present study. Secondary data collection methods areviable and productive as it spares a great deal on both time andcost. In this particular research study we have utilized secondarydata collections which incorporate use of diaries, surveys, magazinesand the web. This strategy gives better information for the study andfocuses on issue as intended to well. We have decided to usesecondary data collection method because of many reasons whichinclude the fact that it provides the most relevant data and moreefficient way of gathering information needed.

Samplingmethods and the sample size

Sinceit was hard to incorporate the entire sample in the exploration, asmall sample of the whole populace was considered for the study. Astrategy for sampling is taken to encourage the generation of arepresentative sample, the sampling method that was used include theinclusion and the exclusion method. In this particular study we alsoadopted the use non-probability sample. The non-probability samplerefers to the selection of individuals who participate in thisparticular study have been done in a non-random way

Thesampling technique used in this particular study define therespondents to be non-stratified through the random sampling method.Through the use of stratified sampling method, the population of thewere divided into a more homogenous groups and a perfect sample wasobtained through the random sampling techniques. The goal is toobtain a sample which gives a good understanding of the problem and“neutral” representation of the total population. The goal ofthis method was to achieve the desired representation from varioussub-groups in the population. The method was used because thepopulation of interest is from different sectors and departmentswithin the country.

Allthis had different characteristics and these justified the use ofstratified random sampling. The suitable standard that I have used tois such that only fits the sample from Abu Dhabi. Out of the totalpopulation of 16,200, a sample of 60 respondents was selected to beused for the study. The table below shows the sampling frame used indata collection (Cavazos-Cepeda, 2008).





Shopping centers




Public parks








Companies (public and private)












Qualitativeand quantitative data

Datacollection in this particular project has made use of bothquantitative information and qualitative information gathered.Diverse techniques that helped in gathering information bothqualitative and quantitative are given in this particular section.The systems utilized incorporate overviews which are close to homemeetings, questionnaire, and human perception. The qualitative dataobtained include the description of the health effects of junk foodconsumption in Abu Dhabi, the locality, and the description of thelevel of junk food consumption.

Quantitativedata for this particular project include the rates of whichindividuals believe to be addicted to consumption of junk food whichwas obtained by asking the respondents to indicate the number of timethey consume the junk food in a week or in a day. Another qualitativedata collected include the number of people in support of theregulations by the government and the availability of junk food forconsumption.


Thischapter presents the data analysis on the high demand for junk foodsin Abu Dhabi. The chapter also provides the major findings andresults of the study which has been collated in a professional way inorder to help in understanding the reasons why there is an increaseconsumption of junk food in Abu Dhabi.


Theresponse rates of the respondents is a very important factor indetermining the validity and reliability of the obtained results. Thestudy targeted a sample size of 60 respondents from which 59 filledin and returned the questionnaires making a response rate of 98%. Theresponse rate was excellent. It is considered that a response rate of50% is adequate for analysis and reporting a rate of 60% is good anda response rate of 70% and over is excellent (Wilson, 2010).

Figure1.1: Response rate


Reliabilityof the questionnaire was evaluated through Cronbach’s alpha whichmeasures the internal reliability. Thevalue of the alpha coefficient ranges from 0-1. A higher value showsa more reliable generated scale. 0.7 is considered to the acceptablereliability coefficient.


Thestudy pursued to establish the demographic information of therespondents whereby it inquired on the respondents’ age and gender.

Figure1.2, presents the gender distribution of the respondents wherebymajority (93%) of the respondents were male whereas female were 7%.This suggests that the male gender dominated most of the areas wherethe data was collected. It further implies that gender representationwas not well considered in undertaking the study (Wilson, 2010).

Figure1.2: Gender distribution

Thefindings in table 1.1 present the age distribution of therespondents. From the findings, thestudy found that the majority of the respondents were between 25-34years (54.0%), 3% were aged between 12-17 years 22% were aged between18 – 24 years, 20% were 35 years and above. This implies that thetarget population was equally distributed among all age brackets.Further it implies that the information obtained in this study wasrepresentative of the views of different ages (Anthony &amp Stewart, 2009).

Table1.1: Age distribution




12 to 17



18 to 24



25 to 34



35 or older






Addiction/ frequency of consumption

Onaddiction / frequency of consumption of the junk food, the studyrequired to establish the extent to which addiction explains the highdemand for junk foods in Abu Dhabi, as illustrated in Figure 1.3. Thestudy found that addiction has a significant impact on the demand forjunk food (Wilson, 2010). The highest number of respondents, 53%,indicated that they take junk food 1 to three times a week. 21% ofthe respondents indicated that they took junk food at least once on adaily basis. 3% of the respondents took junk food 4 to 6 times aweek. 7% of the respondents took junk food all day while only 17% ofthe respondents do not take junk food. From the analysis, addictiontowards junk food creates the high demand for junk food in Abu Dhabi.The highest number of respondents admitted to have taken junk food atleast once every day (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 2005).

Figure1.3: Addiction for junk foods

Demandfor junk food

Onthe demand for junk food, the study aimed at determining themotivation behind people in Abu Dhabi who prefer to take junk food.Figure 1.4 shows the reasons for the high demand of junk food in AbuDhabi. From the findings, 34% of the respondents took junk food dueto their taste (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 2005). Theavailability of junk food determines its consumption to an extent of16%. 3% of the respondents took it due to the low prices of junkfood. 12% of the respondents took junk food since they are quick toprepare. 5% of the respondents argued that junk food helps them torelax whenever they are stressed. 16% of the respondents argued thatthey had no time to cook. Out of the 58 respondents, 14% do not eatjunk. The findings indicate that majority of the people took junkfood because of the foods’ good taste [ CITATION Dav07 l 1033 ].

Figure1.4: Demand for junk foods

Wherepeople take junk food

Theresearcher also investigated on the places with the highestprobability of consuming junk food. The results are shown in Figure1.5. None of the respondents admitted to take junk food in school.This may be due to restrictions in schools. The highest number ofrespondents, 53%, took junk food in hotels or in recreation parks.18% of the respondents took junk food mostly in colleges anduniversities (Wilson, 2010). The high demand for junk food incolleges and universities may be due to availability and lack of timeto cook. Most people believe consumption of fast food leads to thesaving of time. In turn, this enables individual to take onactivities in a day (Oxford Business Group, 2014). Students also tendto like tasty things. Students’ schedules are tight with the lackof a plan for their day to day activities. When students are studyingin libraries, most have vending machines full of Junks, which becomespreferable to consume than find restaurant and take a healthy meal(Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 2005).

11%and 9% of the respondents took junk food while at work and home. Theworking class is not different as during lunch hours most workersfind eating at a fast food to be better. Undeniably, this indicatesthat laziness to pack lunch before leaving the house in the morningcauses the preference too. The preference saves time and is a quickway of taking food to fulfill the hunger. The low consumption of junkfoods at home maybe due to variety of other types of foods availableat home. In addition, the availability of junk food at home is low.9% of the respondents didn’t take junk food.

Figure1.5: Location


Onadvertisement, the researcher aimed at determining the impact ofadvertisement on the consumption of junk foods in Abu Dhabi. From thefindings in Figure 1.6, advertisement influences 66% of therespondents to take junk food. 44% of the respondents argued thatadvertisement does not have any impact on their consumption of junkfoods. The findings imply that the increased advertisement of thejunk food in the media leads to attracting children as well as thegeneral public to consume such foods this can be seen from thequestions and answers of interview questions on Appendix B(Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 2005).

Advertisingto the children and the public in general by tempting them topractice poor nutrition habits is forbidden as it considered harmfuland misleading to the children. It is also unethical to advertise tochildren as well as the general public and more so requestinginformation about the children’s age [ CITATION Loc14 l 1033 ].

Figure1.6: Advertisement

Effectsof increase in price

Theresearcher aimed at determining the impact of a change in price ofthe junk foods, as shown in Figure 1.7. When the price of junk foodsis increased, 60% of the respondents will not take, while only 40%will take. This indicates that the cost of junk foods have asignificant effect on the consumption of junk foods. The findingsconcur with the findings of other researchers that most people preferjunk food since they are affordable (Abu Dhabi Food ControlAuthority, 2005).

Figure1.7: Increase in prices


Accordingto the research conducted on government regulations, the researchaimed at finding if it was necessary for the government to restrictthe marketing of junk foods. From Figure 1.8, 66% of the respondentswere in favor of government imposing regulations on the consumptionof junk foods. 34% of the respondents opposed the idea (Abu DhabiFood Control Authority, 2005). This can be verified by the interviewquestions and answers on appendix B. The opportunities of fast foodindustry are as a result of lack of government commitment toregulating the industry. The absence of regulations and interferencefrom the government facilitates the growth of the industry as well aspromoting its products resulting to an increase in unhealthy eatinglifestyles (Maddy-Weitzman, 2003).

Figure1.8: Government regulations

Consumers’awareness on the health risks associated with junk foods

Ihave tried to find out if the consumers were aware of the healthrisks associated with consuming junk foods, as shown in Figure 1.9.93% of the respondents were aware of the health risks compared to 7%. This indicates that most of the people take fast foods on regularbasis despite the fact that they are aware of the health benefitsthat are associated with taking these fast foods this can be notedfrom the results of review questions on appendix B (Wilson, 2010).

Figure1.9: Awareness of health risks


Inthis study, a multiple regression analysis was conducted to test theinfluence among predictor variables. The research used statisticalpackage for social sciences (SPSS V 22.0) to code, enter and computethe measurements of the multiple regressions. [CITATION Eli11 l 1033 ]


Regression Statistics

Multiple R


R Square


Adjusted R Square


Standard Error










Significance F














R-Squaredis a commonly used statistic to evaluate model fit. Theadjusted R2,also called the coefficient of multiple determinations, is thepercent of the variance in the dependent explained uniquely orjointly by the independent variables (Abu Dhabi Food ControlAuthority, 2005). Themodel had an average coefficient of determination (R2)of 0.9087 and which implied that 90.87% of the variations inoperational efficiency are caused by the independent variablesunderstudy (advertisement, awareness of health risks associated withconsumption of junk foods, affordability of junk foods and governmentregulations) [CITATION Pet032 l 1033 ].


Therate of junk food consumption in Ab Dhabi is relatively high ascompared to some other regions in United Arab Emirates. This has beenrecorded due to high level of addition to fast junk food by most ofthe people living in Ab Dhabi. The rate of consumption has alsoaccelerated over the past few years due to increase in television,internet and new paper advertisements that promote consumption offast and junk food without consideration of the health effects on theconsumers. The most affected group are the teenagers and the youngadults of the age between 16 years and 24 years. Most of theindividuals living in this particular city are a workingprofessionals and therefor it will be easier to adopt all thenecessary recommendations as most of them are educated and there islikelihood that most of them will be able to understand theimportance of the regulations and the measures that the governmentand the responsible local authorities have to put in place to helpthem reduce the health and economic effects of the problem.


AbuDhabi’s level of junk food consumption is clearly on the rise andthis must be dealt with in appropriate way to protect the people.From the research findings we can conclude that it is majorly theresponsibility of the government and the health authorities toregulate the consumption of junk food within the region. Theresponsibilities of the government include imposing regulations,conducting public awareness programs and restricting badadvertisements that encourage the consumption of junk food within AbuDhabi.

Individualsalso have the responsibility of making sure that they have taken goodcare of their health. This will happen only if they are aware of thehealth benefits of not consuming junk food in larger quantities.Public awareness will also make people live as a community that takesgood care of themselves, people will start taking care of theirhealth and that of their relatives through advices and other measureswhen they are aware of the health effects of consuming junk foodwithin Abu Dhabi.

Wecan also conclude that the demand for junk food needs to be reducedthrough the required measures such as public awareness and governmentregulations this will help in reducing the level of consumption ofjunk food and also reduce the number of people getting negativehealth effects due to consumption of junk food. Reduction of junkfood in the market is the major factor that needs to be consideredthrough increasing of prices.


Theconsumption of junk food has been found to be increasing at alarmingrates in Abu Dhabi and all the measure necessary has to be taken intoconsideration in making sure that rates have been reduced. From thefindings it is clear that some of the people who consume these junkfoods are not aware of the negative health effects of the food andtherefore they are ignorant the consequences of their eating habits.The government should conduct public trainings and teachingsconcerning the health effects of high consumption of junk food. Thiswill greatly help in making sure that the public have enoughknowledge on the problems that they may be getting themselves into [ CITATION Pet032 l 1033 ].

Itis also highly recommended that the government regulates theadvertisements that are given out. The adverts should includewarnings on the health effects of the consumption of junk food withinAbu Dhabi. The findings have shown that 70% of the population isinfluenced by advertisements and especially the children and theyoung adults who are large users of the media consumers. Regulatingthe advertisements will help in reducing the level of junk foodconsumption among the children and generally within the public. It isclear that the government has not done enough in regulating theconsumption of junk food among the people. The government accordingto the findings has the responsibility of imposing regulations onjunk food consumption and they should make the laws and apply thempromptly [ CITATION Ant09 l 1033 ].

Raisingthe prices of junk food would also be highly helpful for thepopulation that consumes junk food. According to the finding 60% ofthe population stated that they will stop consuming junk food iftheir prices were raised. The government could impose taxes on thefoods and raise the prices of the food in order to make sure that thepeople who consume junk food have reduced their consumption and inthe process help in avoiding the health problems [ CITATION Dav07 l 1033 ].


AbuDhabi Food Control Authority (2005). Policiesand Legislation. Abu Dhabi,retrieved from http://www.adfca.ae/English/PolicyAndLegislations/Pages/default.aspxon October 30th 2015

AbuDhabi Food Control Authority (n.d). Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.Retrieved http://www.adfca.ae/english/pages/default.aspx (Accessed9/9/2015)

Al-Kamari,D., &amp Jukes, D. J. (2011). Incorporating HACCP into national foodcontrol systems-Analyzing progress in the United Arab Emirates. FoodControl,22(6),851-861.

Burke, J., &amp Larry , C. (2012). Educational research : quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.

Cavazos-Cepeda, R. H. (2008).Essays in Demand Estimation and Wealth Dynamics: Applications to Cultural Economics and the Life Cycle. Michigan: ProQuest.

John , C., &amp Vicki , C. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Los Angeles : SAGE Publications.

Kacapyr, E. (2011). Introductory Econometrics for Undergraduates: A Student`s Guide to the Basics. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Kennedy, P. (2003). A Guide to Econometrics. Cambridge: MIT Press.

King, D. C. (2007). United Arab Emirates. New York: Marshall Cavendish.

Location Group AG. (2014). Retail Market Study Worldwide 2014. New York: Location Group AG.

William G. Axinn, L. D. (2006). Mixed Method Data Collection Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oxford Business Group. (2014). The Report: Dubai 2014. London: Oxford Business Group.

William G. Axinn, L. D. (2006). Mixed Method Data Collection Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Verd, J. M. (2004). Qualitative research methods.

Zikmund, W., Babin, B., Carr, J., &amp Griffin, M. (2012). Business research methods. Cengage Learning.


Questionnaireused to collect data from the field was as given bellow


Personalinterview question

Thelist bellow represents a set of interview questions that were used inthe primary data collection

AbuDhabi food control Authority



Whatmeasures does you organization take to ensure the safety of the foodthat is being consumed and especially the junk food?

Thereare number of measures or parameters that should be followed toensure the food safety in all catering food establishments includingthe fast food restaurants (junk food) such as Separate raw food fromcooked food, Keep food at safe temperature, etc.


Doesthe organization have regulations on the type of food that is beingconsumed by the public? (YES/NO) If yes, give examples of some of theseregulations

Wehave regulations only on the food safety not on the type of food.


DoesAbu Dhabi food control authority carry out public campaigns on theimportance of food safety? (YES/NO)

Ifthe answer is Yes, then how often does it always happen what way do you use to sensitizethe public?

Everymonth and we always use media to make people know.

AbuDhabi food control Authority



Whatmeasures does you organization take to ensure the safety of the foodthat is being consumed and especially the junk food?

AbuDhabi Food Control Authority has different policies legislations thatregulate all food establishments in the emirate of Abu Dhabi toensure the food safety and hygiene in these establishments and makesthere is safe delivery of food stuff to the public

Asmentioned there is general legislations such as the Law Number 2,developed in 2008 in consideration of Food within the UAE of AbuDhabi. Regulation No (6) of 2010 Food hygiene throughout the FoodChain, etc. (see the websitehttp://www.adfca.ae/English/PolicyAndLegislations/Pages/default.aspx).However, there is no specific measures for junk food or fast foodrestaurant related to the nutritional side or concern.

Onthe other hand, there are number of food safety parameters (measures)that are checking during the inspection visits to ensure that safetyof food from receiving the raw materials until the final product tothe customer.


Doesthe organization have regulations on the type of food that is beingconsumed by the public? (YES/NO)If yes, give examples of some ofthese regulations

No,as I mentioned that we just have regulation to ensure the safety offood. However, ADFCA cooperate with other concerned government sectorin this concern such as ADFCA work with HAAD and ADEC in controllingthe provided food in educational institutions. In addition, we checkthe food safety and quality through following food sampling plan andthe laboratory results (laboratory of Abu Dhabi Quality andConformity Council) if the food comply with the specifications andstandards that approved from Emiratesauthority for standardization and Metrology or not.


DoesAbu Dhabi food control authority carry out public campaigns on theimportance of food safety? [Yes/No]. If yesof course ADFCA has many contributions and campaigns aimed to awarethe public and it is continues through the year. Reaching the publicto aware they are by different ways including the following:

  • Giving lectures in educational institutions, government sectors, etc.

  • Participating in many exhibitions and events

  • Showing advertisement in the TV

  • Update news, advices (awareness) by social media like twitter and Instagram

  • Account for ADFCA in YouTube

  • Answering the suggestions, inquiries and complaints that received by Abu Dhabi Contact Centre Management: 800 555

AbuDhabi food control Authority



Whatmeasures does you organization take to ensure the safety of the foodthat is being consumed and especially the junk food?

InAbu Dhabi Food Control Authority there is procedure that inspectorfollow to make sure that all customer consume safe food. Inrestaurant the inspector will check all steps, from reserving food,and how they store the food, also they check the temperature whenthey receive food to make sure all food product in good temperaturebefore they used.

Also,it is important to keep any food premises clean to avoid crosscontamination between foods.

Allthese steps are routine for inspector to do in all food premises


Doesthe organization have regulations on the type of food that is beingconsumed by the public? (YES/NO)No (butthere is specification that measure the quality of food, like amountof sodium in drinks, or if the food contain and porcine or alcohol) If yes, give examplesof some of these regulations


DoesAbu Dhabi food control authority carry out public campaigns on theimportance of food safety [Yes/No] if the answer is a yes then howoften does it happen and how do you help sensitize the public

AbuDhabi Food control Authority used all social media to send a messagefor public about how to keep food from safe and proper way to storefood from buying them from shops until they store in home.

Also,there is a campaigns in school to educate children about food safetyand how they can used food and keep it away from any contamination.

Also,there is procuress that spread all over food premises for customeralso, there is training for stuff who work there about food safetyhow they can serve clean and safe food.

Close Menu