A validated survey to measure household food waste

Erica van Herpen*, Lisanne van Geffen, Mariska Nijenhuis-de Vries, Nancy Holthuysen, Ivo van der Lans, Tom Quested

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

To assess household food waste in large-scale studies with the aim to understand differences in food waste levels between households, surveys are often employed. Yet, survey measures rely on people's awareness of their own food waste levels, draw upon their memory of instances of food waste, and can be subject to social desirability. Therefore, existing survey measures may not be optimal in measuring household food waste. The Household Food Waste Questionnaire has been developed to ameliorate these issues. It uses a pre-announcement to increase awareness of food waste, focuses on a short and specific time period (i.e. the past week), and specifies detailed product categories, whereas previous surveys mostly used general questions without reference to time period or product category. The amount of household food waste estimated using the Household Food Waste Questionnaire is likely to considerably underestimate the actual amount, so the method should not be used to obtain accurate waste amounts, but rather to distinguish differences between households and/or across time. Advantages compared to existing survey methods are that it: • Distinguishes better between households with low versus high levels of food waste • Correlates more highly with other measurements of household food waste (diary, kitchen caddy, photograph coding)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2767-2775
Number of pages9
JournalMethodsX
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

Food
Surveys and Questionnaires
Social Desirability
Diet Records
Kitchens
Data storage equipment

Keywords

  • Consumer
  • Food waste
  • Household food waste questionnaire
  • Measurement
  • Questionnaire

Cite this

van Herpen, E., van Geffen, L., Nijenhuis-de Vries, M., Holthuysen, N., van der Lans, I., & Quested, T. (2019). A validated survey to measure household food waste. MethodsX, 6, 2767-2775. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2019.10.029
van Herpen, Erica ; van Geffen, Lisanne ; Nijenhuis-de Vries, Mariska ; Holthuysen, Nancy ; van der Lans, Ivo ; Quested, Tom. / A validated survey to measure household food waste. In: MethodsX. 2019 ; Vol. 6. pp. 2767-2775.
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van Herpen, E, van Geffen, L, Nijenhuis-de Vries, M, Holthuysen, N, van der Lans, I & Quested, T 2019, 'A validated survey to measure household food waste', MethodsX, vol. 6, pp. 2767-2775. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2019.10.029

A validated survey to measure household food waste. / van Herpen, Erica; van Geffen, Lisanne; Nijenhuis-de Vries, Mariska; Holthuysen, Nancy; van der Lans, Ivo; Quested, Tom.

In: MethodsX, Vol. 6, 31.10.2019, p. 2767-2775.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - van Herpen, Erica

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AU - Nijenhuis-de Vries, Mariska

AU - Holthuysen, Nancy

AU - van der Lans, Ivo

AU - Quested, Tom

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N2 - To assess household food waste in large-scale studies with the aim to understand differences in food waste levels between households, surveys are often employed. Yet, survey measures rely on people's awareness of their own food waste levels, draw upon their memory of instances of food waste, and can be subject to social desirability. Therefore, existing survey measures may not be optimal in measuring household food waste. The Household Food Waste Questionnaire has been developed to ameliorate these issues. It uses a pre-announcement to increase awareness of food waste, focuses on a short and specific time period (i.e. the past week), and specifies detailed product categories, whereas previous surveys mostly used general questions without reference to time period or product category. The amount of household food waste estimated using the Household Food Waste Questionnaire is likely to considerably underestimate the actual amount, so the method should not be used to obtain accurate waste amounts, but rather to distinguish differences between households and/or across time. Advantages compared to existing survey methods are that it: • Distinguishes better between households with low versus high levels of food waste • Correlates more highly with other measurements of household food waste (diary, kitchen caddy, photograph coding)

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van Herpen E, van Geffen L, Nijenhuis-de Vries M, Holthuysen N, van der Lans I, Quested T. A validated survey to measure household food waste. MethodsX. 2019 Oct 31;6:2767-2775. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2019.10.029