BMC Public Health (Jan 2023)

Does plate waste matter?: A two-stage cluster survey to assess the household plate waste in the Philippines

  • Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa,
  • Marvin Bangan Toledo,
  • Jezreel Ann Taruc Zamora

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 23, no. 1
pp. 1 – 13


Read online

Abstract Background Plate waste is an urgent global public health problem. Gaining better knowledge of the quantity and patterns of plate waste among households may give critical insights into resolving the greater problem of unnecessary plate waste. The study was conducted to determine the amount of plate wastage across food security levels of households and evaluate possible factors associated with plate waste. Methods This investigation analyzed the data from the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey. Food weighing, food inventory, and food recall were the methods used to collect household food consumption and plate waste. Household Food Insecurity Access Scale was used to identify levels of food security among households. Results The present study has revealed that the average household plate waste of rice was 49.6 g ± 4.7; meat, fish, & poultry was 7.5 g ± 0.5; and vegetable was 6.7 g ± 0.3. Rice (58%), vegetables (18%), and meat (9%) were the top 3 most wasted foods among Filipino households. Test showed that there was a significant difference in the wastage of rice (p < 0.001), corn (p < 0.001), vegetables (p < 0.05), fish (p < 0.001), meat (p < 0.001), and fats and oils (p = 0.001) across household food security levels. Households with the highest consumption of rice was 1.24 (CI: 1.06 – 1.46) times more likely to have rice waste compared to those households with the lowest consumption. Households with a female household head was 0.82 (CI: 0.78 – 0.87) times less likely to have plate waste of rice and rice products compared to those with male household head. The odds of rice wasting of household in urban areas was 0.83 (CI: 0.77 – 0.89) times higher in contrast to rural areas. The odds of rice wasting was 1.38 (CI: 1.15 – 1.66) times higher for households in the rich quintile compared to the poorest quintile. Household with highest vegetable consumption were 3.56 (CI: 2.51 – 5.03) times more likely to have vegetable waste compared to those with the lowest consumption. Households with 5 members were 1.13 (CI: 1.01 – 1.27) times more likely to have vegetable waste. The odds of wasting vegetables was 1.50 (CI: 1.14–1.97) times greater among households in the richest quintile compared in the poorest quintile. Families with the highest fish, meat & poultry consumption was 1.38 (CI: 1.01 – 1.91) times more likely of having fish, meat & poultry waste than households with lowest consumption. Fish, meat, and poultry plate waste was 0.81 (CI: 0.68 – 0.96) times less likely in households with 5 members or less than in households with more than 5 members. Compared to households in the lowest quintile, those in the middle quintile were 1.55 (CI: 1.01 – 2.38) times more likely to throw away fish, meat, and poultry. The odds of wasting fish, meat, and poultry was 2.26 (CI: 1.35 – 3.79) times higher for those in the richest than those in the poorest quintile. Conclusions Findings suggest that plate waste is indeed a public health problem that should be addressed. Future research studies should explore the nutrient losses that might stem from plate wastage in order to have a more accurate approach when it comes to the development of strategies and interventions aimed at reducing household plate waste.