Global warming and health: less fruit and vegetables available, more mortality

According to projections for 2050, climate change will lead to a reduction in the availability of fruits and vegetables. The impact of the climate on agricultural resources will lead, according to their projection, to an increase in mortality in industrialized countries.

Concerns about climate change may well overtake those related to obesity in 21st century health concerns. For the first time, a study attempts to estimate the impact of global climate change on mortality linked to changes in agriculture by 2050. Researchers at the University of Oxford have specifically studied the impact on changes in weight (risk linked to being underweight or overweight) as well as the availability of fruit and vegetables and red meat.

Fruits and vegetables less available

According to the projections of this model, in 2050, climate change will have led to a reduction in the global availability of fruits and vegetables by 4% and of red meat by 0.7%, causing 529,000 deaths worldwide. Overall, the consequences of the reduction in the availability of fruits and vegetables are twice as great as those linked to being underweight.

It is in high-income countries, less confronted with underweight, that the impact of fruit and vegetables on mortality is the highest. Conversely, it is in Southeast Asia that the consequences of the climate on underweight will be felt the most.

The scenario could be even darker

The authors of this study published in the prestigious journal: The Lancet specify certain limits of their model, which does not take into account other factors, such as the impact of the climate on fishing and aquaculture, or even on the quality nutrition of food. To add that taking into account most of these additional factors would only darken the picture. The only “consolation” is that obesity-related mortality should evolve favorably with climate change.


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Springmann M et al: Global and regional health effects of future food production under climate change: a modeling study. The Lancet


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