Friday, August 19, 2016

Climate Change Raises Deadly Health Risks

Reduced production of fruit and vegetables as climate change impacts on agriculture could substantially increase dietary and weight-related factors that contribute to so many deaths worldwide.

Citrus groves in the drought-hit US state of California. (Image Credit: David Fulmer / Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
More than half a million people worldwide are likely to die annually by 2050 because of the impact on agriculture of changing climate, according to an Oxford University study on the future of food.

The authors say the effects are likely to be felt most acutely in south and east Asia, but that the US will also be severely affected.

They identify reduced production and consumption of fruit and vegetables as a key concern, and say the effects of climate change on agriculture could be one of its most important consequences.

The World Health Organisation recommends that adults should normally eat at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables daily, which unlike processed foods are low in energy and do not promote obesity.  Red and processed meat consumption has been linked to some forms of cancer.

While there has been extensive research on food security, there has been less on assessing the wider health impacts of future changes in agricultural production.

The study, published in the UK medical journal The Lancet, links a detailed agricultural modeling framework − the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) − to a comparative risk assessment of changes in consumption of fruit and vegetables and red meat, and bodyweight for deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and a range of other causes.

Read more at Climate Change Raises Deadly Health Risks

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