Eating Out Pattern

According to reports from the global market information databases (2003), it said that more than 98% of the population of Hong Kong people live in small apartments. Due to the restricted space, cooking facilities are usually limited, so that they tend to eat out more often than eat at home. Moreover, the working group have very busy lifestyles. People usually work for more than 9 hours per day, so that they would eat out more often than they used to. Restaurants and cafes/bars are also widely visited as appropriate places for business socialising and meetings. Snacks Consumption

Taylor (2004) has observed and compared the variation that exists between healthy and unhealthy or less nutritious foods. He says unhealthy foods are “highly assessable, convenient, promoted heavily, good tasty and cheap” whereas healthy foods are “less assessable, less convenient, barely promoted, less tasty and more expensive”. Welcome Supermarket in Hong Kong carried out a survey of its customers in late 2001 to ascertain their favourite foods. The results suggested that an increasing proportion of the young members of the population prefer instant foods, high-sugar soft drinks and high-fat junk foods such as potato crisps (GMID, 2003).

In a research conducted by Sei et. al (2004) have found out that different kinds of grain and meat had a negative correlation with measures of obesity. On the contrary, there was a direct, positive association between snack variety and obesity. In fact, in a multiple regression model, a food variety ratio which has been culled from snack, grain, and meet was a more reliable predictor of body fat when compared with dietary fat. Clearly, the variety of food that is taken in by the individual seems to contribute substantially to obesity.

Food Consumed Away from Home Food can be put into 2 categories, namely, home made food and away frome home food. Home- made foods are those whose ingredients are bought and processed and prepared at home for consumption. On the other hand, away from home foods are those that do not have to be prepared for, including those consumed from fast food outlets, public places, schools, restaurants, vending machines etc. Away from home foods are ready-to-eat and consumed, and the consumer has less control over portion size and nutritional content (Lin et. al, 1999).

There are a lot of environmental influences that affect eating behaviours including the food prices, increased variety of snacks choices, increased variety of restaurant etc. Furthermore, people have busy lifestyles, both parent works in some families, so that the popularity of eating out is increasing due to the time limitations. The increased popularity of eating out was taken into concern about its impact on diet quality. Lot of research was carried out to investigate the nutrient differences between food consumed at home (home-made) and food consumed away from home.

Evidence showed that higher consumption of foods prepared away from home may cause poorer quality of diet among adolescents and the portion sizes are usually larger and contain high energy density compared to food prepared at home. These unhealthy dietary properties has a higher likelihood of increasing body weight. In addition, foods ate away from home and fast foods are more likely to be fried, or contain more oil. In other words, this would increase the intake of saturated and partially hydrogenated fat, which is known to increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Thompson et al(2004) found that adolescent girls in the UK had greater mean increase in BMI who consumed food purchased away from home twice a week compared with those who consumed food purchased away from home once a week or never. Studies also suggested that higher consumption of food prepared away from home lead to overweight and increased body fatness. (Taveras et al. 2005) Research from Adamson et al. (1996) said that food consumed away from home, school meals provided a higher density of fat and a lower nutrient density of protein, iron, Non- starch Polysaccharides than the intake from home.

And food from shop/cafe/tuck shop and other homes had a slightly lower density of fat (9. 5g/MJ) compared to the intake from home (10. 5g/MJ), but the density intake of sugars is considerably higher than intake from home( 26g/MJ Non- milk extrinsic sugars and 9-13g/MJ respectively). Other nutrient density, including protein, Non- protein polysaccharides, iron, calcium, vitamin C and retinol equivalents were all lower than the home intake. 3. 0 Methodology (guide 1000) 3. 1 Research Design The current study employs a descriptive-comparative design, with nutrition knowledge, lifestyles, and health behaviours being compared.

The scores of the two groups (normal weight and obese groups) were analyzed using the Chi-square to determine if they had a relationship with being obese. Tthe study is descriptive in nature as frequencies, means, and frequency distributions were computed to describe the samples used in the study. 3. 2 Samples and Sampling Plan Hong Kong residents between 18 to 40 years old is the population for this research study. Since the total population for the survey is very large, due to time limitations a sample size of 60 was taken for the survey, with 30 allotted to the normal weight group and the rest to the obese sample.

Purposive sampling method is adopted for this research. The selection of employees for the experimental group was made on the basis of their participation in the stress management workshop. To ensure the effectiveness of the study, employees belonging to all levels of management, service time, sex groups and age are selected to participate in the survey. There shall be two samples used in the study, namely, 1) normal weight group and 2) the obese group. Both groups shall be chosen using purposive sampling.

Purposive sampling is a popular research recruiting method, as the sample size does not have to be determined at the beginning of the project. It is also an advantage for this study, as the sample size will be constrained by time and available resources (Mack, Woodsong, MacQueen, Guest & Namey, 2005). This study will make use of purposive sample to select respondents. This was based on respondents’ willingness to participate and being available during the period to complete the surveys. Informed consent need to be taken into consideration at the start of any research project.

Consent is about participants making a reasonable choice to take part in the study, and, as such, their aspirations need to “fit” with the goals of the research (Mason, 1997). The researcher will ensure that the participants were fully informed. In addition the researcher discussed the potential consent form with their supervisor and colleagues. This will highlight to the researcher potential ambiguities in meaning, confusing sentences and missing information that are likely to invalidate the measures (Patton, 2000).

Informed consent requires the awareness of the researcher that participation is dependant on an individual’s understanding of the goals of the study, and what is expected of the participant. Informed consent will ensure respect for the dignity of the participant (Mack et al. , 2005). Coercion into participation will be avoided at all costs, as the study requires that participation be voluntary (Mack et al, 2005). Thus, informed consent was to ensure the well being of participants as its priority.

Additionally, participants would be made aware that their responses would directly contribute to a sharing of knowledge on nutrition knowledge, lifestyles, and health behaviours among Hong Kong residents. In addition, respondents will be reassured that the data collected would be kept confidential. No incentives will be provided for participation in this study. Results collected from the final analyses will be made available to respondents on request. Procedure The respondents who are legible for participation were contacted to ask for their permission in participating in the study.

They were sent formal letters or emails indicating this purpose. Calls were made to these individuals to confirm their willingness to participate in the study. This study is meant to research on nutrition knowledge, lifestyles, and health behaviours of normal weight and obese individuals in Hong Kong. The primary source of data is the responses to a questionnaire (see Appendix A). A preliminary study is done on the responses collected from 5 respondents. The questionnaire was then altered based on their suggestions. During pilot testing, wording of some questions is improved to make it more understandable to the respondents.

Some questions were eliminated from the questionnaire and new questions were added on the basis of the respondents’ comments. The process was repeated once again to arrive at the final questionnaire to be used on the sample. The data collection period occured over a period of 15 days. The research hypotheses were not divulged rather respondents were only informed that the study aims to determine differences in nutritional knowledge, lifestyles, and health behaviours between normal weight and obese individuals, and so contribute to research on this topic.

It is anticipated that respondents are less likely to guess the hypotheses, and so less likely to exhibit socially desirable responses in order to “please” the investigator. Respondents were called to administer the survey via telephone. Each respondent was told that the completion of the survey will take about 10 minutes and they were asked to email a signed consent form if he is amenable to the terms of participation. In all cases, consent forms were printed and stored separately to consent forms, and each questionnaire booklet was identified only with a respondent number.

On completion of the study, respondents were thanked, and were briefly informed of the study’s hypotheses. Respondents were also informed that the results of the study will be made available to them on request following submission of the final thesis. 3. 3 Instrument The instrument that was used in the study is a self-constructed questionnaire, inquiring about the respondent’s answers on the nutrition and health questionnaire. The instrument underwent content validation by field experts, to ensure both face validity and content validity.

In addition, the questionnaire was also be pilot tested to make sure that respondents do not experience any difficulty with answering it, and that its items are clear and have smooth flow. Methodological Limitations Any research study will be restricted in scope by certain inherent limitations that are participated by the choice of the research design, sampling procedure and respondent selection. This study will have the following limitations. • Even though the survey will be conducted among a group of individuals, the study may not reflect the real opinion of all those that are classified under that category.

• Because of time constraints, the sample size is restricted to 60, which may not reflect the opinion of the entire population of normal weight and obese respondents. • Since the study was restricted to a group of respondents, majority of findings are applicable to this group and may not be generalized. 3. 4 Method of Data Analysis Data collected using the questionnaire is analyzed using three statistical tools like frequency and percentage distribution, Chi-square analysis, and T-test for two independent samples.

1. Frequency and percentage distributions were done on the questionnaire responses to show the distribution of responses for each question. 2. The Chi-square analysis was used to determine if there are significant relationships between categorical variables and being obese. 3. The t-test for two independent samples was used to determine if there were significant differences between the normal weight and obese group in terms of health behaviours.

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