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Awareness of Students in Junk Food Consumption | Proposal

Info: 3557 words (14 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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  • Izyan Hanim Binti Ibrahim







World Health Organisation has stated that the dispersion of disease mainly is caused by the unhealthy eating lifestyle (As cited in CSE 2012). However, the adolescence really love eating junk foods including burgers, carbonated drinks, instant noodles, French fries, hotdogs, sweets, potato chips and biscuits (Arya & Mishra 2013). According to Arya & Mishra (2013), they have classified adolescence stage into three stages which early adolescence, ranging from 11-14 years old, middle adolescence, teenagers of age 15-17 years old and lastly late adolescence that have ages of 18-21 years old. Those stages are the most important stages in human life cycle because during early adolescence is the emotional management stage due to it is a puberty level. Moreover, in the middle adolescence is the try-and-error stage because teenagers tend to try many new things and experiences and last but not least teenagers will figure out his or her future plan during the late adolescence stage. The study has stated that wrong consumption of nutrients at this level will result a prolong impacts to them.

Students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara are the gifted students and their specialties should be preserved. This study will survey the awareness level of them in taking in the junk foods to make them realise how dangerous is the action. Students who live far away or without parents have higher tendency to consume or buy junk foods. A study has discovered that foods rich in nutrient have higher price index in marketing fields compared to the unhealthy foods like junk foods ( Deakin University 2008).

Finally, this research project will reveals the frequency of those students in consuming junk foods from schooling session until living in the dorms session with others. Despite all of

this, the researcher will investigate how the examination year will affect the frequency of their consumption towards junk food in order to enhance the cognitive level.


Junk foods are categorised as any types of meals that can be prepared in short time and does not require much energy to make it (Johnson et al. 2012). However, Escalante et al. (2004) has stated about the intake of beneficial nutrient decrease as the consumption of junk food increase in children’s meal. This is one of the implication the over exposed children to the junk food advertisement continuously in front of television. For instances, the advertisement that make a non-stop promotion is Koko Krunch, Coca Cola, Pepsi Co and biscuits. Yosifon(2006) also support this claim about the effect of advertisement in monopoly the young generation’s mind. In addition, World Health Organisation (WHO) has come out with a result those actions is one factor that contributes to the increase of statistical analysis on the Body Mass Index (BMI). Company of junk food will target the new generation as their marketing customers to exploit the profit (Yosifon 2006).

Junk food is rich with salt, trans fat, sugar and many chemical contents as their preservative and addictive agent. Monosodium glutamate is the most well-known food addictive agent in junk food. Monosodium glutamate is one of a dangerous chemical that always being related with the development of cancer cell. As has been stated before, junk food is a food rich with fat. The consumption of high fat meals will make the signal of appetite-supress is being ignored and leads to increase of appetite and gaining weight (Johnson et al. 2012).

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Not to be forgotten, Johnson et al. (2012) also have made a study on the effect of junk food on brain. The study has proved that junk food can reduce the volume of brain. The reduction of brain capacity will lead to the neuro diseases. For students, the ability to memorise is important for the process of cognitive. So, the risk to be effected with Alzheimer’s disease should be lower by taking care of intake of junk food and aware with the intake of nutrients.


As conclusion, this research mainly wants to study the awareness of gifted students in the consumption of junk food and to determine whether examination year will affect the consumption of junk food in their diets.


Teenagers are the main target for any company of junk food to be their customers. So, junk food has becomes one of their favourite food. Besides, the problem that has been observed by the society about this issue is the source to get this junk food can easily bought by the students and there is no restriction. For examples, many types of junk food can be bought from the vending machines, school canteens and the nearby grocery shop (Datar & Nicosia 2009).As students; they should spend the money wisely. So, they eat junk food because it is affordable and cheap. However, obesity cases among the young generation is rising up and continuously year by year (Escalante et al. 2004).


The purpose of conducting this research is to study the awareness level among students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara in consuming junk food in their diets. Junk food contains many types of chemicals and the most well-known chemicals present in that food is monosodium glutamate. Monosodium glutamate can produce an addictive flavour that enhances the taste of the foods (Husarova & Ostatnikova 2013). As students, the frequency of taking junk food will be investigated by the researcher and to determine whether the examination year for Form 5 student, that will facing Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, will control them from taking the junk food.

  1. To determine whether students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara aware about the intake of junk food.
  1. To study the frequency of students consuming junk food.


  1. To investigate whether the examination year will affect their intake of junk food.

The research questions are:

  1. Does the students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara aware about the intake of junk food?
  1. How frequent is the students consume junk food in their life routine?
  1. Does the examination season will affect the intake of junk food among the students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara?

Alternative hypothesis, : The examination will affect the frequency of consuming junk food by the students.

Null hypothesis, : : The examination will not affect the frequency of consuming junk food by the students.


This research is mainly done because teenagers nowadays are known as junk food generation because there are many of them that take in junk food as their main dishes every day. So, this research is one of a step towards reducing the intake of junk food especially among the students.

The significance of this research is to enlighten the society about the dangerousness of junk food in harming the health. Besides, this research will highlight the seriousness


level of consuming the junk food in diets of students.


The samples of this research are just from a small population of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara which have a total number of students of. Due to small population, the sample used for this experiment will be a small sample size. The small sample size may not have a statistical support due to insignificant result of the finding for this research project.


The definition of each main concept in the research is as follows:


The awareness of students in Pusat Permata Pintar Negara in this research is about how they control the intake of junk food even they know its implication on health. Moreover, it becomes serious when students tend to chewing something during study or revise in the night.


The frequency of eating the junk food gives an idea to the readers about the number of consumption of junk food per day or per week.


The ability of students to understand their studies


The awareness of students in Pusat Permata Pintar Negara should be investigated through this research since they are the gifted students that need to preserve their specialities. Through this survey, maybe next research can study how to raise their awareness and decrease the consumption of junk food.





Junk food is defined as any food that contains less in nutrients but rich in the inappropriate things such as the preservative and the additive agents. Junk food can contribute to obesity and encourages the eaters to skip their breakfast because of improper meals time (Gopal et al. 2012). The study by Gopal et al. (2012) has claimed about the bad effect of consuming junk food that the society does not realise is about the decreasing absorption of calcium in humans. Based on the survey by Gopal et al. (2012), their outcome of survey has shown that the biggest factor for the students to consume junk food probably is because of the taste of junk food itself. Almost 70% of the eaters agree with this factor and unfortunately almost half of them never care about the long-term effects.


Chemical in junk food has a high glycaemic index and will suppress the appetite of the eaters. In addition, chemicals in junk food can higher the level of sugar more rapidly compared to other type of food (Vartanian et al. 2007). Monosodium glutamate, MSG, is a well-known chemical agents used in junk food and many studies has been conducted by using the animals as the samples to prove its effect on health. The usual experiment was conducted to study the implication on reproductive organs, central nervous system and adipose tissue (Husarova & Ostatnikova, 2013). Overconsumption of junk food can reduce the size of lumen within age 30 and has a high risk to be attack by the coronary disease (Johnson et al. 2012).



Metabolic syndrome is defined as any disease that can lead to heart attack. For examples, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and obesity (Alberti et al. 2006). Husarova & Ostatnikova (2013) has stated that chemical contents used in junk food can interrupt the metabolism process in humans’ body. “Junk food can increase the parameters of insulin, fatty acid and triglycerides in serum” (Husarova & Ostatnikova 2013). They has been added that monosodium glutamate can increase the production of bile and the most dangerous element regarding this food addictive is it can change the structure of ovaries and fallopian tube. Besides, MSG can cause headache but the studied show there is no relationship between asthma and the uptake of junk food. Not only that, medical staff at Harvard University and University of Murcia can make the young men to distorted their reproductive system and development because the sperm produced will be the unhealthy sperm to fertilize with the ovum( Johnson et al. 2012).


A study has proved that junk food’s nutritional content is approximately has zero content of nutrition. Furthermore, it has a large quantity of trans fat. Trans fat acts like the saturated fat which contributes to the increase in the statistics of obesity (Johnson et al. 2012). A statistical by World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that 2.8 million of humans were killed yearly due to the problems of body weight or obesity. This implication of junk food has been supported by British Heart Foundation (2014) that excess consumption of junk food will higher the risk of obesity. As the obesity has stated in an individual life, he or she will has a higher tendency to be infected by mane other diseases. The most common disease is the coronary disease. Not to be forgotten, illness that related to the obesity is high blood pressure, diabetes type II and development of cancerous cell.

A recent article by Gutierrez (2014) states that junk food makes the eaters become addictive to it and the addictive level is like craving for heroin. In addition, the article also has claimed about the effect of over consumption of junk food will make the person will


refuse to the healthy meals and they prefer to starve themselves.

When chemical content from junk food was entered the human body system, the biological content of brain will be deteriorated (Michelle 2014). It has been added that the entire body system will be interrupted especially the digestive system due to inappropriate digestive flow. A report by the Military Leaders for Kids (2010) has come out with a statement by the army that want all sources of junk food to be eliminated in school compounds either in canteens or vending machines. However, as a started step in order to remove the sources, conspiration between American Heart Association and the beverages companies was setting up to decrease 88% of the calories present in their product that will be in the school compound in United States.


Consuming excess salt, sugar and many other unbeneficial needs to be controlled at the early age because obesity in young age will has a high probability to develop into adult obese (British Heart Foundation 2014). The awareness level of students in Pusat Permata Pintar Negara in consuming junk food should be studied so that next research can be conducted to find the appropriate ways in increasing their awareness. Students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara are the gifted students that need to be preserved their intellectual level.





Survey research method will be the research design for this study. 162 copies of questionnaires will be distributed among the students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The samples will be divided into three groups which is Form 4, Form 5 and Asasi Pintar students. Those groups have 54 samples each and a total of 162 students will be involved. There are three different levels of students because the researcher want to know whether the examination year will affect the consumption of junk food which is Form 4 students are not in examination year, Form 5 students are in examination year (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) and Asasi Pintar students are in the post-examination year. The questionnaire that will be distributed is from the Codman Academy.


Based on Krejcie and Morgan table, the researcher can decide an appropriate number of samples. With the total number of population which is 280 students, Krejcie and Morgan table shows that the number of samples that should answer the Codman Academy questionnaire that will be distributed is at least 162 students. The result of the survey will have a valid result for the researcher to analyse.

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The questionnaire that will be distributed is taken from Codman Academy Junk Questionnaire Survey which already has its own validity. Therefore, pilot test is not necessary in this study . The questionnaire will be distributed among students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. There are 15 questions involving questions on frequency of consumption of junk food by students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara. The duration for collecting the questionnaires with the answers will be about 5 days.


The questionnaire will be analysed and the researcher will study on the frequency of consumption of junk food. In addition, the frequency of the Form 5 students for the intake of junk food will be compared with respondents from Form 4 and ASASIpintar students because the researcher wants to investigate about the effect of examination year on the frequency of taking junk food.



The population for this research is the students of Pusat Permata Pintar Negara, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia that will answer the questionnaire. The total number for the population is 280 students including Form 4, Form 5 and Asasi Pintar students.


The samples should be studying in Form 4 and Form 5 because they already pass the maturation stage in thinking skill. So, the answer can be more relevant and it is more valid to analyse it as the research result.


Students which are in Foundation phase or in Form 1 level cannot be selected to answer the questionnaire because some of them have matured but some of the students still have the immature way of thinking. So, the answer will be the irrelevant answers.

The lecturers or teachers are excluded from the sample because the researcher want to study the awareness in the consumption of junk food among the students due to they are known as the junk food generation.



The population will be grouped based on the age and the level of studying in school either the students are from Form 4 (16 years old), Form 5 (17 years old) or the post Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia candidates which are in ASASIpintar (18 years old). The sampling method will be conducted from each of the age of students’ ages.



This table gives the researcher a guideline in choosing the number of respondents needed for a certain number of population. The study will be conducted in Pusat Permata Pintar Negara which has a total number of 280 students including Form 4, Form 5 and Asasi Pintar students. So, a valid number of samples needed are 162 students.


Codman Academy Junk Food Questionnaire is taken as the questionnaire for this survey. The language used for this questionnaire is English language because it is a universal language. So, the respondents can answer the questionnaire without any obstacle due to language.


The result from the questionnaire will be analysed by using the statistics software known as SPSS. Results will be presented through frequency counts and other descriptive statistics. From the analysis, the researcher can get the statistical analysis on the result of the awareness of students in Pusat Permata Pintar Negara towards the intake of junk food. The hypothesis testing will be done by the researcher to make a decision. The decision is either to reject the null hypothesis or fail to reject null hypothesis. Microsoft Excel 2010 will be used to tabulate the data.






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British Heart Foundation. 2014. Briefing: Junk food marketing to children campaign

Husarova, V. & Ostatnikova, D. 2013. JMED Research. Monosodium Glutamate Toxic

Effects and Their Implications for Human Intake: A Review 2013(2013):1-11

Vartanian, L.R., Schwartz, M.B. & Brownell, K.D. 2007. American Journal of Public

Health. Framing Health Matters 97(4):667-675


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