Understanding Food Waste, Food Insecurity, and the Gap between the Two: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in Saudi Arabia
2.1. Study Design
2.2. Sampling and Sample Size
2.3. Participant Recruitment
2.4. Survey Design and Outcome Measures
- The demographics section. This section included age, gender, region, educational level, household’s net income, number of people living in the household, number of children living in the household, elderly people living in the household, and social support status.
- The household food waste of uncooked items (such as canned food or fresh vegetables). In this section, we asked the participants if they had wasted any uncooked food items within the last four weeks and the frequency of such behavior. If the household had wasted any uncooked items, then they were directed to answer three more questions about the reason for the food waste, the type of food, and how/where the items were wasted.
- The household food waste of cooked items. In this section, we asked the participants if they had wasted any cooked food items within the last four weeks and the frequency of such behavior. If the household had wasted any cooked food items, then they were directed to answer four more questions about the reason for the food waste, the source of the cooked food, the type of food, and how/where the items were wasted.
- The individual food insecurity experience measured via the FIES [19,20]. The FIES was the first tool to be used to measure food insecurity at the individual level globally and was validated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 151 countries, including in Saudi Arabia . The FIES has eight questions, each of which is asked with a recall period of 12 months [19,20]. Respondents answer yes/no to the eight questions and the responses are aggregated to provide raw scores ranging from 0 to 8. Food insecurity is then classified into three categories: (1) Food secure (FS) with raw scores = 0–3; (2) moderate food insecurity (MFI) with raw scores = 4–6; (3) severe food insecurity (SFI) with raw scores = 7–8 [19,20].
- Household food insecurity was measured via the HFIAS for measurement of food access . The HFIAS is an adaptation of the approach used to estimate the prevalence of food insecurity in the United States annually . The scale was validated in the Arabic language and has been widely used by United Nations countries to measure household food insecurity [22,23,24]. The HFIAS has nine questions, each of which is asked with a recall period of four weeks . If the respondent answers “yes” to an occurrence question, a frequency question is asked to determine whether the condition happened 1 = rarely (once or twice), 2 = sometimes (three to ten times), or 3 = often (more than ten times) in the past four weeks . We used the interviewer instructions and questionnaire administration guide recommended by the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project . Four indicators were used to determine the characteristics of and changes in household food insecurity (access) in the surveyed population, including (1) household food insecurity access-related conditions, (2) household food insecurity access-related domains, (3) household food insecurity access scale scores, and (4) household food insecurity access prevalence. The calculation method for each indicator is explained in detail in the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project guide, version 3 .
2.5. Data Analysis
3.1. Food Waste
3.2. Individual Food Insecurity Experience
3.3. Household Food Insecurity Access
3.3.1. Factors Associated with Food Waste
3.3.2. Factors Associated with Severe Food Insecurity
3.3.3. Associations between Food Waste and Food Insecurity
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Less than bachelor’s degree||1077 (43.9)|
|Bachelor’s degree and above||1377 (56.1)|
|Eastern region||189 (7.7)|
|Al Jouf||183 (7.5)|
|Northern border||182 (7.4)|
|Monthly household income *|
|Less than SAR 5000||385 (15.7)|
|SAR 5001 to 8000||489 (19.9)|
|SAR 8001 to 11,000||394 (16.1)|
|SAR 11,001 to 13,000||290 (11.8)|
|SAR 13,001 to 16,000||304 (12.4)|
|SAR 16,001 to 20,000||250 (10.2)|
|More than SAR 20,000||342 (13.9)|
|Total people living in the household|
|0 to 2||277 (11.3)|
|3 to 5||779 (31.7)|
|6 to 8||779 (37.5)|
|9 and above||478 (19.5)|
|Number of children living in the household|
|1 to 4||1619 (66.0)|
|5 and above||133 (5.4)|
|Elderly family members living in the household|
|Receiving social benefits or aids|
|Wasted any uncooked food in the last 4 weeks|
|1 day a week maximum||1041 (42.5)|
|2 to 3 days a week||411 (16.8)|
|4 days or more per week||103 (4.2)|
|Reasons for wasting uncooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|Expired food||1081 (44.2)|
|Old but not expired food||248 (10.1)|
|Recalled by authority||74 (3.0)|
|Caused extreme allergic reaction||87 (3.6)|
|Caused mild allergic reaction||66 (2.7)|
|Caused digestive issues||119 (4.9)|
|We don’t need it anymore||388 (15.9)|
|Not used for a long time (clearing storage)||663 (27.1)|
|Types of wasted uncooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|Fresh dairy products||864 (35.3)|
|Long-life dairy products||206 (8.4)|
|Fruits and vegetables||637 (26.0)|
|Baby food||94 (3.8)|
|Canned food||265 (10.8)|
|Long-life juice||129 (5.3)|
|Soft drinks||114 (4.7)|
|Eastern sweets||182 (7.5)|
|Uncooked rice||63 (2.6)|
|Disposal methods of uncooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|Trash bin||878 (35.9)|
|Feeding stray animals||990 (40.5)|
|Feeding pets||279 (11.4)|
|Used as compost||57 (2.3)|
|Food donation to individuals||339 (13.9)|
|Food recycling||41 (1.7)|
|Food donation to nonprofit organizations||109 (4.5)|
|Wasted any cooked food in the last 4 weeks|
|1 day a week maximum||984 (40.2)|
|2 to 3 days a week||617 (25.2)|
|4 days or more per week||220 (9.0)|
|Reasons for wasting cooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|It was more than what we could eat||1168 (47.8)|
|We do not store cooked food or leftovers||474 (19.4)|
|We don’t have enough space to store it||135 (5.5)|
|Burned or was not cooked properly||262 (10.7)|
|Types of wasted cooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|Bread and bakeries||916 (37.4)|
|Pies and pastries||679 (27.7)|
|Cooked vegetables and seasoned salads||657 (26.8)|
|Cooked rice||1293 (52.8)|
|Grains and legumes||350 (14.3)|
|Disposal methods of cooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|Trash bin||732 (29.9)|
|Feeding stray animals||1183 (48.3)|
|Feeding pets||371 (15.2)|
|Used as compost||64 (2.6)|
|Food donation to individuals||502 (20.5)|
|Food recycling||60 (2.5)|
|Food donation to nonprofit organizations||137 (5.6)|
|Sources of wasted cooked food in the last 4 weeks *|
|Local family food business **||257 (10.5)|
|Neighbors or relatives||205 (8.4)|
|HFIAS Domains||HFIAS Item||No||Yes (Total)||Frequency of Experience n (%)|
|n (%)||n (%)||Yes (Rarely)||Yes (Sometimes)||Yes (Often)|
|Anxiety and uncertainty||2048 (83.7)||399 (16.3)||289 (11.8)||67 (2.7)||43 (1.7)|
|Insufficient quality||2027 (82.8)||419 (17.2)||253 (10.3)||122 (5.0)||45 (1.8)|
|2039 (83.4)||408 (16.6)||279 (11.4)||81 (3.3)||48 (2.0)|
|2144 (87.6)||302 (12.4)||192 (7.8)||83 (3.4)||27 (1.1)|
|Insufficient food intake||2209 (90.3)||237 (9.7)||148 (6.1)||57 (2.3)||31 (1.3)|
|2186 (89.4)||260 (10.6)||169 (6.9)||63 (2.6)||28 (1.1)|
|2207 (90.2)||239 (9.8)||148 (6.1)||56 (2.3)||35 (1.4)|
|2189 (89.5)||257 (10.5)||179 (7.3)||49 (2.0)||29 (1.2)|
|2265 (92.6)||181 (7.4)||123 (5.0)||34 (1.4)||24 (1.0)|
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Althumiri, N.A.; Basyouni, M.H.; Duhaim, A.F.; AlMousa, N.; AlJuwaysim, M.F.; BinDhim, N.F. Understanding Food Waste, Food Insecurity, and the Gap between the Two: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in Saudi Arabia. Foods 2021, 10, 681. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030681
Althumiri NA, Basyouni MH, Duhaim AF, AlMousa N, AlJuwaysim MF, BinDhim NF. Understanding Food Waste, Food Insecurity, and the Gap between the Two: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in Saudi Arabia. Foods. 2021; 10(3):681. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030681Chicago/Turabian Style
Althumiri, Nora A., Mada H. Basyouni, Ali F. Duhaim, Norah AlMousa, Mohammed F. AlJuwaysim, and Nasser F. BinDhim. 2021. "Understanding Food Waste, Food Insecurity, and the Gap between the Two: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in Saudi Arabia" Foods 10, no. 3: 681. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030681