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Food delivery applications and fast-food consumption during COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Walaa Aldhamen (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Maryam Aldoulah (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Zainab Alghazwi (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Batool Almoathen (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Yassmin Almossa (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Zahraa Alsalem (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Razan Algarni (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Tunny Purayidathil (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Omar Abuzaid (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Yassmin Algindan (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Rabie Khattab (Department of Clinical Nutrition, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 3 May 2023

224

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the lockdown and the increased spread of food delivery applications (FD Apps) during COVID-19 pandemic have augmented the consumption of fast foods.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 673 adults from different regions of Saudi Arabia using an online questionnaire.

Findings

Data showed that 61% (N = 410) of participants used FD Apps during the pandemic. Among those users, 54.9% (225) were females and 70.5% were in the 18–44 years old group. Most FD Apps’ users were university graduates (74.4%). The increased use of FD Apps during the pandemic significantly affected the eating behavior and the nutritional pattern. It has further significantly augmented the consumption of fast foods (p-value < 0.05).

Originality/value

This study reports on the use of FD Apps during COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia and its impact on consumer eating pattern. This study shows the need for prudent use of these applications to limit ordering fast foods and consider healthier choices. It further calls for education programs, awareness campaigns, legislative measures and formal policies to rationalize the use of such applications for better nutrition, health and well-being.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors have no acknowledgments to declare.

Declarations:

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Conflict of interest: The choice of topic and the views expressed are solely those of the authors. The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article. The lead author affirms that this manuscript is an honest, accurate and transparent account of the study being reported. The reporting of this work is compliant with STROBE2 guidelines. The lead author affirms that no important aspects of the study have been omitted and that any discrepancies from the study as planned have been explained.

Availability of data and material: The data sets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Author contributions: W. Aldhamen, M. Aldoulah, Z. Alghazwi, B. Almoathen, Y. Almossa, and Z. Alsalem collected the data and drafted the initial version of the manuscript. The rest of authors supervised the work, reviewed the drafted version and analyzed the content. T. Purayidathil conducted the statistical analysis. Y. Algindan and R. Khattab evaluated the output and prepared the final version of the manuscript. All authors approved the final version sharing the responsibility for ensuring the manuscript complies with the journal style requirements and terms of consideration.

Citation

Aldhamen, W., Aldoulah, M., Alghazwi, Z., Almoathen, B., Almossa, Y., Alsalem, Z., Algarni, R., Purayidathil, T., Abuzaid, O., Algindan, Y. and Khattab, R. (2023), "Food delivery applications and fast-food consumption during COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-02-2023-0030

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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