Discussion of research finding on Junk Food in Abu Dhabi



Discussionof research finding on Junk Food in Abu Dhabi

Table ofcontent

Table of content 2



Addiction 4

Demand of junk food 5

Places where people take junk food. 6

Advertisements 7

Raise in prices 8

Government Regulation 9

Health risk awareness 10






Thispaper precisely discuses the findings and provides therecommendations on the project conducted the reason why people in AbuDhabi are attracted to junk food. Junk food in Abu Dhabi is such apopular delicacy to an extent that it was once being served inhospital and school canteens. This issue prompted the Abu Dhabi FoodControl Authority to intervene and reduce or ban the sell junk foodsin schools and hospital environments.

Overconsumptionof junk food is associated with different health risks includingdiabetes, heart diseases, and certain cancers to mention a few. Theeating of fast food in Abu Dhabi remains high and businesses need tounderstand why this is the trend if they are to penetrate thismarket. This findings and discussion paper is aimed at understandingfindings why people prefer fast food over other foods in Abu Dhabiand exploring the opportunities available for fast food industry inAbu Dhabi. It is clear from the results that the rate of junk foodconsumption in Abu Dhabi is higher as compared with other parts ofthe United Arab Emirates. This has been recorded due to the highlevels of addiction of consumption of fast foods. The demographics,prices rates for the junk food, lack of government regulations andignorance on the health effects of the consumption of junk food isdepicted by the results as some of the major reasons why people inAbu Dhabi have been consuming Junk food at very high rates.

Bothprimary and secondary methods data collected have been analyzed anddiscussed in this paper.Qualitative and quantitative data collection tools used to collectdatawhich was then analyzed using statistical tools and presented usingpie charts and tables. The qualitative data took an exploratorycontent analysis process. In this research questionnaire it washighly preferred because the respondentsof the study were literate and quite able to answer questions askedadequately also because some of the information require wassensitive.Descriptive research design was used in collecting the data. Thetarget population was 120 respondents of 162000. The researcher usedsimple stratified random sampling procedure to select a sample of 60respondents. The methods used in the collection of data, dataanalysis and presentation were completely effective as they havedepicted they exact results that will be analyzed in this paper forbetter understanding and interpretation of results.

Someof the factors that lead to Abu Dhabi people attracted to junk foodinclude: advertisement, awareness of health risks associated withconsumption of junk foods, affordability of junk foods and governmentregulations. It was also found that the rate of consumption of fastfood in Abu Dhabi had accelerated over the past few years due toincrease in television, internet and new paper advertisements thatpromote consumption of fast and junk food without consideration ofthe health effects on the consumers. The most affected group was theteenagers and the young adults of the age between 16 years and 24years.


Alot of effort has been put to determine why most people in variousparts of the world have become attracted to junk food which hasnegative effects to the economy and their health. However in thispaper we have tried determined the reason why people in Abu Dhabihave become more attracted to junk food. This has been largelycontributed by a number of the factors that include: addition, foodconsumption pattern, and health and nutrition situation in Abu Dhabi,influence from advertisements, people’s life style and culture,government regulation addition from fast food, availability, and costamong other factors. Detailed discussions on these particular factorshave been clearly and precisely discussed bellow.


Accordingto the study approximately 83% of the people in Abu Dhabi use junkfood due to addition. From the analysis, addiction towards junk foodcreates the high demand for junk food in Abu Dhabi. The highestnumber of people of those who take junk food takes at least onceevery day (Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 2005). This is majorlyas a result of addition, food consumption pattern and their lifestyle and culture.


Theaddition to junk food as clearly shown in the graph above about 52%of the respondents took junk food in approximately 1 to 3 times in aday while 21 percent took junk food once on a daily basis. It is only17 percent of the population that stated that they never took anyjunk food. The rate of addition as shown is escalating and maybedetrimental if not carefully looked into[ CITATION Pet032 l 1033 ].

Demandof junk food

Thedemand of junk food in Abu Dhabi has increased with alarming rate ofwhich a number of factors have been identified as the major causes.According to ourfindings the major factor that leads to high demand for junk food istheir taste. Other factors that largely contribute on the sameinclude their availability, their ease in preparation and lack oftime for cooking food. However low price has been determined to leastcontribute to the high demand of junk food, this shows that junk foodare usually expensive in most instances. The findings imply thatmajority of the people took junk food because of the foods’ goodtaste (King,2007). According to the results of the research shown in the graph bellow,the attractive taste of the junk food is the major cause for the highdemand which accounts for 34% the others include lack of cookingtime and availability which accounts for over 14% of the demand.


Placeswhere people take junk food.

Thefindings shows approximately 53% of people take it in hotels or inrecreational parks this is followed in range with approximately 18%of people who took junk food mostly in colleges and universities.However, almost nobody take junk food in school this may be largelydepicted to the restriction in schools.Most people believe consumption of fast food leads to the saving oftime. In turn, this enables individual to take on activities in a day(Oxford Business Group, 2014). Students also tend to like tastythings. Students’ schedules are tight with the lack of a plan fortheir day to day activities. When students are studying in libraries,most have vending machines full of Junks, which becomes preferable toconsume than find restaurant and take a healthy meal (Abu Dhabi FoodControl Authority, 2005).


Theother prominent place where people take junk food is at work, this isbecause junk food is taken as a preference to save time and quickerway of taking food to fulfill the hunger. At home few people takejunk food this is because of the available variety of other types offoods. In addition, the availability of junk food at home is low [ CITATION Ric083 l 1033 ].


Accordingto research findings approximately 70% of those who takes junk food IAbu Dhabi take it as an influence of advertisements. From ourfindings this implies that the increased advertisement of the junkfood in the media leads to attracting children as well as the generalpublic to consume such foods [ CITATION Bru03 l 1033 ].Advertising to the children and the public in general by temptingthem to practice poor nutrition habits is outlawed as it consideredharmful and misleading to the children. It is also unethical toadvertise to children as well as the generalpublic and more so requesting information about the children’s age(Location Group AG, 2014).


Raisein prices

Fromresearch findings it is clear that prices of junk food have an impacton their consumption. It is approximated that about 60% would nottake junk food if their prices were raised. This implies that thecost of junk foods have a significant effect on the consumption ofjunk foods[ CITATION Loc14 l 1033 ].The findings concur with the findings of other researchers that mostpeople prefer junk food since they are affordable(Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 2005).



Accordingto the findings shown on the figure below, 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). The opportunities of fast foodindustry are as a result of lack of government commitment toregulating the industry. Due to high percentage of people supportinggovernment regulation this provides an opportunity for the governmentto implement regulations as stated in the appendix 1. The absence ofregulations and interference from the government facilitates thegrowth of the industry as well as promoting its products resulting toan increase in unhealthy eating lifestyles (Maddy-Weitzman, 2003).


Healthrisk awareness

Accordingto our research findings approximately 93% of the people of Abu Dhabiare aware of the health risk associated with junk food. The lackconcern on the health effects caused by junk food is a threat toachievements of this research (Appendix 1). This implies most peopleare not careful about their life’s, despite the fact they know thehealthy hazards of taking fast food they will still take the food.This shows health awareness on the risk associated with consumptionof junk food has little impact in the society (Kacapyr, 2011).



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’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.


SwotAnalysis ADFCA



  • ADFCA has the authority and the experience that is needed in handling of Junk food consumption control in Abu Dhabi.

  • ADFCA is the only body within the government that is mandated with responsibility of managing food, animals and drinks within Abu Dhabi.

  • ADFCA has system that can conveniently regulate food and agricultural produce.

  • The wide field of responsibilities that have made them hard to be achieved, having a more focused agenda could make the authority more successful.

  • Many and more complex policies that have been implemented have made it difficult for the organization to achieve its goals.



  • Through research and development, ADFCA can improve its activities.

  • The authority can take advantage of other private and government organizations that give support.

  • Regulations that have bared the authority from performing its functions effectively pose a threat to the authority.

  • The high demand of products make the authority to unable to perform its functions and also more invalid.


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