Plate Waste Generated by Spanish Households and Out-of-Home Consumption: Results from the ANIBES Study
Food waste is a major environmental issue that must be tackled in order to achieve a sustainable food supply chain. Currently, in Spain there are no studies that examine the amounts and sources of plate waste (PW) produced by both household and out-of-home consumption. The present study aims to provide this information from a representative sample from the Spanish population. A total of 2009 individuals aged 9–75 years, from the ANIBES study (“anthropometric data, macronutrients and micronutrients intake, practice of physical activity, socioeconomic data and lifestyles in Spain”), completed a three-day dietary record, collected by a tablet device. Photographs of all foods and beverages consumed both at home and outside were taken before and after meals. Median PW across the total population was 7.3 (0.0–37.3) g/day and was significantly higher in females than males (p < 0.05) and in children vs. adolescents, adults, and elderly (p < 0.01). Regarding meals, PW across all age groups was higher at lunch (40%), dinner (27%), and breakfast (11%). The highest PW was observed for bread (25%) main courses (16%), first and second courses (15%), vegetables and fruits (12%), ready-to-eat meals (10%), cereals and grains (10%), oils and fats (10%), pulses (10%), meat products (8%), sauces and condiments (8%), and starters (8%). Our results reinforce the need for new strategies to focus on reducing plate leftovers, which are crucial from a nutritional, economic, and environmental point of view. Additionally, this evidence is important for relying on more accurate information on actual intakes when using dietary surveys.