Street food has continued to be a popular food source in the urban settings of developing countries and is proving to be a vital urban dietary source. However, its dietary contribution among urban populations is yet to be comprehensively understood.
To assess how street food contributes to the dietary intake of habitual street food consumers.
We conducted a community-based cross-sectional study among habitual street food consumers in Kampala city. We defined habitual intake as consumption of a serving of any street food for ≥2 days/week regardless of the food group and number of times it was consumed in a particular day. Questionnaires were used to capture quantitative data on sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometry, 24-hour diet intake and 2-month street food consumption frequency. The Nutritics® diet analysis software version 4.3 and STATA version 13.0 were used for nutrient and statistical analyses respectively.
Street food contributed considerably to the daily intake of fat (49.1%), sodium (38.4%) and calcium (36.5%) and least towards the daily intake of vitamin A (11.3%). The majority of consumers opted for street food at breakfast (50%) whereas lunch and snacks featured the least for overall street food inclusion (all 20%). Overall, men demonstrated more dietary intake and inclusion at meals from street food than women.
This study indicates a significant contribution of street food for urban consumers but men derive more benefit than women in terms of nutrient intake and inclusion of street food in meals.