Degree Name

Master of Science


The international literature contains numerous studies in which socioeconomic status has been found to affect dietary and health habits, and disease outcomes. An Australian survey by BIS Shrapnel (1993) found that nationwide there are 12,000 independent take away food outlets, and 2,000 take away chain food stores. However, despite being a primary source of unhealthy foods for many individuals, the literature shows a surprising lack of any study conceming intervention with respect to take away food outlets. This study was undertaken to develop a baseline level of information regarding the types of food sold, current preparation and cooking practices in take away food outlets. Information was also sought to develop an understanding of the characteristics of the customers and owners of take away food outlets, including their attitudes towards health, as well as the business itself Data was collected by face to face interviews with outlet owners or managers, using a structured questionnaire, which contained both open and closed questions. The questionnaire included sections focussing on foods sold, common food preparation methods, customers, owners, the business, and the possibility of working with health promotion units. Data collected enabled a baseline level of descriptive information to be compiled regarding take away food outlets. Results of types of food sold and preparation methods indicate that most foods available at take away food outlets are high fat foods. Although there are some healthy food options offered at take away food outlets they tend to be less frequently available. Information conceming the customers, owners, and business given a composite picture of take away food outlets important for considering any type of intervention. Details of owners or managers attitudes towards health and health promotion have indicated there is an interest in working with health promotion groups to promote healthy foods.