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Korean J Community Nutr. 2019 Oct;24(5):422-432. Korean. Original Article.
Choi J , Lee KE .
Department of Food and Nutrition, Graduate School, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea, Graduate Student.
Major of Food and Nutrition, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea, Professor.


The purposes of the study were to assess wastes generated in school foodservice and to identify factors influencing the generation of plate waste.


A survey was administered from November 18–30 in 2015 to dietitians and nutrition teachers that were employed in schools located in Gyeonggi province. A questionnaire file and on-line survey site link were sent to the dietitians and nutrition teachers by e-mail. A total of 622 dietitians and nutrition teachers responded and 594 responses were used for data analysis after excluding 28 responses with significant missing data.


Plate waste was the major part of food waste generated in school foodservice. Vegetable menus and soup/stews were discarded the most as plate waste. The dietitians and nutrition teachers perceived students' unbalanced diet and lack of appreciation of food as causes of the plate waste. Regarding waste management, they were concerned about environmental contamination by food waste and felt uncomfortable about discarding food. No plate waste day was the most frequently used plate waste reduction activity, followed by newsletters on plate waste reduction. Difficulty in getting teachers' support for dietary education during meal time was rated the greatest barrier to implementing the activities. To reduce plate waste, they perceived that students should understand the importance of environment conservation, teachers should supervise students' eating during meal time, students should be educated about proper portion, and foodservice staff should improve food quality.


To improve students' intake and reduce plate waste in school foodservice, foodservice staff need to involve students in school foodservice and improve the palatability of meals, especially vegetable dishes. School nutrition teachers and dietitians should educate students about healthy eating and environment conservation and the school community needs to understand and support plate waste reduction and healthy eating in schools.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.