Socio-demographic predictors of food waste behavior in Denmark and Spain

Alessandra C. Grasso*, Margreet R. Olthof, Anja J. Boevé, Corné van Dooren, Liisa Lähteenmäki, Ingeborg A. Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Food waste generated at the household level represents about half of the total food waste in high-income countries, making consumers a target for food waste reduction strategies. To successfully reduce consumer food waste, it is necessary to have an understanding of factors influencing food waste behaviors (FWB). The objective of this study was to investigate socio-demographic predictors of FWB among consumers in two European countries: Denmark and Spain. Based on a survey involving 1518 Danish and 1511 Spanish consumers, we examined the associations of age, sex, education, marital status, employment status, and household size with FWB. By using structural equation modeling based on confirmatory factor analysis, we created the variable FWB from self-reported food waste and two activities that have been correlated with the amount of food wasted in previous studies: namely, shopping routines and food preparation. Results show that being older, unemployed, and working part-time were associated with less food waste behavior in both countries. In Denmark, being male was associated with more food waste behavior, and living in a household with four or more people was associated with less food waste behavior. These results underscore the modest role of socio-demographic characteristics in predicting food waste behavior in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3244
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2019


Funding for this paper was provided by the European Union FP7 MooDFOOD Project 'Multi-country cOllaborative project on the rOle of Diet, FOod-related behaviour, and Obesity in the prevention of Depression' [grant agreement no.613598].

FundersFunder number
European Union FP7
Seventh Framework Programme613598


    • Behavior
    • Food waste
    • Predictors
    • SEM
    • Socio-demographic


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