Global and regional health effects of future food production under climate change
This report (PDF) in the Lancet focuses on the wider health impacts of future changes in agricultural production. While much research focuses on questions on food security, less attention has been devoted to assessing the health impacts. In this modelling study, the authors estimate that the health impacts of climate change from changes in dietary and weight related risk factors could be significant, and exceed other climate-related health impacts that have been estimated. The study compared risks of changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, red-meat consumption, and body weight and correlated this with deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and an aggregate of other causes. The authors calculate the change in the number of deaths due to climate-related changes in weight and diets for the combination of four emissions and three socio-economic pathways, which each included six scenarios with variable climatic inputs. Climate change mitigation could prevent a substantial number of climate-related deaths. Strengthening public-health programms aimed at preventing and treating diet and weight-related risk factors could be a suitable climate change adaptation strategy.