Street Food (SF) composed of out-of-home food consumption and has old roots with complex social-economic and cultural implications. In spite of the rise of modern fast food, traditional SF remains popular worldwide, but the connection of SF consumption with overall health, non-communicable diseases, and obesity is not well investigated. This Research Project aimed to investigate effects of the variety of street foods in Erbil governorate on the human health.
This is an observational, cross-sectional study. The study was performed in Erbil governorate, Iraq. Street food consumers (n=79) were classified into four groups based on the number of servings they consumed in a week. Study subjects answered a questionnaire concerning their health conditions, nutritional preferences, and frequency of consumption of SF in one week.
The present findings in this study revealed that BMI of the whole four groups of street food consumers has passed the normal range and reached the overweight level (25.0 – 29.9). Regarding the WS, classified groups S2, 3, and 4 have reached the abnormal (high ≥100 cm) level, but not S1. All classified groups based on the servings in a week have abnormal blood pressure levels (Systolic/Diastolic). The S4 was the only group that revealed an abnormal level of CRP (>5 μg/L). LDH results showed that S3 and S4 have abnormal levels which were more than 225 IU/L. Triglyceride level was abnormal (≥200 mg/dl) for both S3 and S4 groups, and the HDL level was abnormal (<40 mg/dL) for the S2, S3, and S4.
In conclusion, these findings suggest that the majority of the street food consumers are from the age of 20-29 years old, and among the SFs the red meat is the type of food that is consumed at a very high level compared to the white meat and veggie SFs, also, street foods have a significant impact on human’s health, and this through affecting on the BMI, waist circumferences, Triglyceride and HDL levels, inflammatory responses and tissue damage.