The attitudes and practices of United Arab Emirates consumers towards food waste: A nationwide cross-sectional study

Lynne Kennedy, Samir Safi, Tareq M. Osaili, Ala Al Rajabi, Ayesha Alblooshi, Dima Al Jawarneh, Ahmed Al Kaabi, Fakhra Al Rubaei, Maitha Albreiki, Maryam Alfadli, Aseilah Alhefeiti, Moez Al Islam Ezzat Faris, Kholoud Allaham, Sameeha Junaidi, Moien A.B. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Reducing global food waste is an international environmental, health, and sus-tainability priority. Although significant reductions have been achieved across the food chain, progress by UAE households and consumers remain inadequate. This study seeks to understand the association between consumer attitudes, knowledge, and awareness relating to food waste practice of residents living in the UAE. to help inform policy and action for addressing this national priority. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a validated semi-structured online questionnaire through stratified sampling (n =1052). The Spearman correlation coefficient was performed to determine the correlations. Two independent regression analysis were used to determine the association between food waste practice with: 1) knowledge and awareness and attitude subdomains, and 2) sociodemographic characteristics. Respondents (n=1072) largely reflect the socio-demographic characteristics and population distribution across the seven Emirates. Results: As expected, a significant and negative correlation was found between food waste practice knowledge and awareness and overall attitude. The regression models showed reduced food waste practice was associated with better knowledge, personal attitude, financial attitude (first model), older age and fewer adults in the household (second model). We found a significant and negative association of personal attitude (a commitment, intention), financial attitude (cost-saving motivation), and (existing) knowledge of Food waste (FW) with practice of food waste, indicating that better knowledge about FW, personal attitude or financial attitude was associated with reduction in undesirable food waste practice. While awareness and emotional attitude (moral concerns) were positively and significantly associated with food waste practice (undesirable behaviour). Conclusions: Food waste poses significant challenges in the UAE, and addressing it requires a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted factors influencing consumer behavior. By promoting knowledge, fostering positive attitudes, and considering socio-cultural factors, policymakers can develop effective strategies to reduce food waste in households and contribute to sustainable development goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number911
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Consumer
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Environment
  • Food Waste
  • Food Waste
  • Household
  • Incentivising Behaviour
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics


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