COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

OSU Plate Waste Study

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02790502
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified November 2017 by Corby K. Martin, Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
First Posted : June 6, 2016
Last Update Posted : November 17, 2017
Ohio State University
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Corby K. Martin, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Brief Summary:

Globally, about one-third of edible food is lost or wasted 1. Wasted food depletes resources used to produce the food (as a matter of definition, "produce" includes all activities to distribute, package and prepare food for human consumption at any venue, but does not include growing, transporting and processing), deprives hungry people from needed nutrition and represents the most common (>20%) and most environmentally deleterious component (in terms of greenhouse gas) of US landfills3-6. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identified reducing FW as a key to increasing global food security (OECD 2011) 7. The Obama Administration recently announced a first ever FW reduction goal for the United States of 50% by 2030. USDA and EPA will pursue this goal via partnerships with the private sector, charitable and faith-based organizations, as well as state, local and tribal governments.

In developed economies, consumers are the largest source of FW via home preparation and dining out2, 8. In order to achieve FW goals, we must anticipate how consumer FW generation and handling decisions will respond to proposed policies and interventions. However, there exist substantial barriers to measuring consumer FW: existing methods have high respondent burden and yield biased measurements of FW generation9-11. In this project we will test a smartphone application (app) for measuring household FW.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Plate Waste Device: Food Photography Application© Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

The objective of this project is to pilot test the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM) and SmartIntake smartphone app as an approach for measuring food waste in controlled and free-living environments. The RFPM and SmartIntakeTM app constitutes a distinct improvement over self-report FI methods, such as pen-and-paper surveys and dietary recall methods that rely on subjects' ability to accurately recall the types and portion sizes of foods consumed. After training, people use the SmartIntakeTM app to capture images of their foods both before and after each eating occasion. Photos are automatically uploaded from the user's smartphone to a secure server at Pennington Biomedical. The images are analyzed to quantify food selection, food waste, and food intake using validated methods and a computer program (the Food Photography Application©) built by Pennington Biomedical. The method has been found to accurately quantify food selection, food waste, and food intake.

Importantly, the RFPM and SmartIntakeTM app eliminate one of the largest sources of error associated with self-report methods - subjects' inability to accurately estimate portion size, which accounts for ~50% of the error in self-report methods11, 13-15. FI estimation studies have observed that overweight subjects react to monitoring by underestimating the self-reported amounts of FI or eat less when monitored16, 17. Similarly, FW behavioral studies have observed that subjects start self-reporting smaller amounts of FW, however it is not clear if this is the result of increased awareness and less generation, or if it due to not appearing as wasteful individuals18. However, people respond less to the RFPM/SmartIntake app and experiment results show that the underestimation from RFPM does not vary with energy intake level12.

Many shortcomings that plague FI measurement likely hamper FW measurement. Biases in the opposite direction (e.g., cleaning your plate to show less FW) likely emerge when measuring FW and may be similarly mitigated with the proposed app. We believe using RFPM and SmartIntakeTM app as the base for a FW estimation app holds great promise to transform FW measurement. First, we note that FW associated with dining situations (i.e., plate waste) is directly estimated by the RFPM, hence only a simple transform of current outputs is required. To fully adapt RFPM for FW measurement, the procedures will be modified to estimate FW created during food preparation and during stored food purges (e.g., cleaning the fridge). The RFPM method already works in dine-out settings, which are currently omitted by some existing FW measurement methods. Additional functionality, such as estimating edible vs inedible FW (and hence calories wasted), estimating waste rate among food categories, and estimating rates of diversion from landfills, will also be explored so that multiple policy relevant metrics can be instantly calculated and stored.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 18 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Other
Official Title: InFACT Seed Proposal: Ohio State University Food Waste Collaborative
Actual Study Start Date : June 15, 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date : August 2018
Estimated Study Completion Date : August 2019

Arm Intervention/treatment
Intervention Group
Device: Food Photography Application©
Group testing RFPM as method of recording plate waste

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Food Waste- Measured with RFPM [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 72 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

In order to participate in this study a candidate must:

  • Be able to consent
  • Be within an age range of 18-72 years, inclusive
  • Have a body mass index of 18.5 - 50 kg/m2
  • Have an iPhone, and be willing to use it to capture photos via an app (participants must acknowledge that cellular data will be used during the course of the project)
  • Be willing to use an iPhone app (SmartIntake) and a pen-and-paper food dairy during the food intake meal and for up to five days in free-living conditions.

Exclusion Criteria:

In order to participate in this study, the candidate must not:

  • Be pregnant, assessed by self-report (this is not a safety issue and study data will not be compromised if 1-3 pregnant women enroll)
  • Be planning to become pregnant while enrolled in the study

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02790502

Layout table for location information
United States, Louisiana
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, 70808
Sponsors and Collaborators
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Ohio State University
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Corby K. Martin, Primary Investigator, Pennington Biomedical Research Center Identifier: NCT02790502    
Other Study ID Numbers: PBRC 2016-043
First Posted: June 6, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 17, 2017
Last Verified: November 2017
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No