Data for: Global food waste across the income spectrum: Implications for food prices, production and resource use

Published: 20 January 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/2z75w23nrg.1


Here we develop a new panel database on household food waste at the national level based on the Energy Balance equation, including adjustments for changes in body weight over time. Since food waste at the country level is not directly observed at present, we must infer this from other observables, including food availability (FA), estimates of physical activity levels (PAL) and basal metabolic rates (BMR), and changes in Body Mass Index (BMI). This leads to the following system of equations for deducing food waste: Energy expenditure = Physical activity level*Basal Metabolic Rate (1) Food Intake = π›₯ π΅π‘œπ‘‘π‘¦ π‘€π‘’π‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘*𝜌 + πΈπ‘›π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘”π‘¦ 𝐸π‘₯π‘π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ (2) Food Waste = πΉπ‘œπ‘œπ‘‘ π΄π‘£π‘Žπ‘–π‘™π‘Žπ‘π‘™π‘’ βˆ’ πΉπ‘œπ‘œπ‘‘ πΌπ‘›π‘‘π‘Žπ‘˜π‘’ (3) Where 𝜌 is a convertor of changes (of increases) in body weight to excessive intake of calories based on the energy balance equations (Hall et al. 2011). Following this approach, the uneaten calories at household level are quantified as the difference between the available calories (kcal/cap/day) and the caloric intake (kcal/cap/day). Country-specific food availability (kcal/cap/day) is obtained from the FAO Food Balance Sheets (FAO/WHO 2017) over the period 1975-2013. The country-specific average Energy Expenditure are calculated from the product of country-specific BMR and the country-specific PAL. The composite BMR, for an average person in each country, is a function of countries’ demographics (age, average weight, and sex) retrieved from World Bank Database (World Bank 2018). PAL based on different lifestyles retrieved from (FAO/WHO 2004). We extend Verma et al. (2017) by incorporating the increment of body weight into this equation. The country-specific average increase π›₯π΅π‘œπ‘‘π‘¦ π‘€π‘’π‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ (π΅π‘Š) was obtained from the differences in BMI reported for the years 1975, 85, 95, 2005, and 2014 (Abarca-GΓ³mez et al. 2017) and country-specific average height for male and female from NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (Risk and Collaboration 2016). The increment in body weight is converted to energy (Kcal/cap/day) by applying a weight change model (Hall et al. 2011). Finally, by assuming a uniform intertemporal distribution of changes on energy expenditure due to changes on average weight, we can calculate country-specific average annual energy daily intake for the period 1975-2013. The final dataset contains average daily households’ uneaten calories for 158 countries (95% of the overall population) for the period 1975-2013. This dataset was used for the paper β€œGlobal food waste across the income spectrum: Implications for food prices, production and resource use” (Lopez Barrera and Hertel).



Purdue University


Economics, Global Food Policy, Food Waste