Article Text

Takeaway meal consumption and risk markers for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity in children aged 9–10 years: a cross-sectional study
  1. Angela S Donin,
  2. Claire M Nightingale,
  3. Chris G Owen,
  4. Alicja R Rudnicka,
  5. Derek G Cook,
  6. Peter H Whincup
  1. Population Health Research Institute, St George’s, University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Angela S Donin, Population Health Research Institute, St George’s, University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK; adonin{at}


Objective To investigate associations between takeaway meal consumption and risk markers for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity risk markers in children.

Design A cross-sectional, school-based observational study.

Setting 85 primary schools across London, Birmingham and Leicester.

Participants 1948 UK primary school children in year 5, aged 9–10 years.

Main outcome measures Children reported their frequency of takeaway meal consumption, completed a 24-hour dietary recall, had physical measurements and provided a fasting blood sample.

Results Among 1948 participants with complete data, 499 (26%) never/hardly ever consumed a takeaway meal, 894 (46%) did so <1/week and 555 (28%) did ≥1/week. In models adjusted for age, sex, month, school, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, more frequent takeaway meal consumption was associated with higher dietary intakes of energy, fat % energy and saturated fat % energy and higher energy density (all P trend <0.001) and lower starch, protein and micronutrient intakes (all P trend <0.05). A higher frequency of takeaway meal consumption was associated with higher serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P trend=0.04, 0.01, respectively); children eating a takeaway meal ≥1/week had total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol 0.09 mmol/L (95% CI 0.01 to 0.18) and 0.10 mmol/L (95% CI 0.02 to 0.18) higher respectively than children never/hardly ever eating a takeaway meal; their fat mass index was also higher.

Conclusions More frequent takeaway meal consumption in children was associated with unhealthy dietary nutrient intake patterns and potentially with adverse longer term consequences for obesity and coronary heart disease risk.

  • nutrition
  • takeaway meals
  • cholesterol
  • coronary heart disease
  • diet

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Press release

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.


  • Contributors PHW, DGC and CGO: conceived and designed the CHASE study. ASD: collected the dietary data, performed the analyses with input and advice from CMN, DGC, ARR and PHW and drafted the first version of the manuscript. All authors: contributed to the development of the manuscript and approved the final draft. ASD and PHW: are guarantors.

  • Funding ASD was supported by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, South London and by Diabetes UK (BDA 11/0004317). Data collection in the CHASE Study was supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust (068362/Z/02/Z) and the UK Medical Research Council National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI) (G0501295). The Funding Partners for this NPRI award were: British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Department of Health; Diabetes UK; Economic and Social Research Council; Medical Research Council; Research and Development Office for the Northern Ireland Health and Social Services; Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive Health Department; and Welsh Assembly Government.

  • Disclaimer ASD and PHW affirms that the manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Medical Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Data can be made available upon request to the authors.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.