Nav: Home

Global warming's impact on undernourishment

October 29, 2019

Global warming may increase undernutrition through the effects of heat exposure on people, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Yuming Guo of Monash University, Australia, and colleagues.

It has been well documented that global warming will indirectly result in more undernourished people through threatening crop production in the long term. In the new study, researchers analyzed daily hospitalization data that covers nearly 80% of the population of Brazil, spanning the years 2000 through 2015. They studied the link between daily mean temperatures and hospitalization for undernutrition.

For every 1°C increase in daily mean temperature during the hot season, there was a 2.5% increase in undernutrition hospitalization (OR=1.025, 95% CI 1.020-1.030, p<0.001). People under age 19 years or over age 80 years with undernutrition were the most vulnerable to heat exposure. Overall, heat exposure was estimated to be responsible for 15.6% (95% CI 9.0-21.4) of undernutrition hospitalization during the study period. That fraction increased from 14.1% to 17.5% over the study period, during which time the mean temperature increased by 1.1°C.

"The possible pathways of this direct impact of heat might include reducing undernourished people's food intake, impairing their digestion and absorption function, and causing fluid and electrolyte disturbances," the authors say. "Global strategies addressing the syndemic of climate change and undernutrition should not only focus on food supply but also the prevention of heat exposure especially among the young and elderly people."
-end-
Research Article

Funding:

RX was supported by China Scholarship Council [grant number 201806010405] (https://www.csc.edu.cn/chuguo/s/1267). QZ was supported by a Monash Graduate Scholarship and Monash International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (https://www.monash.edu/graduate-research). SL was supported by the Early Career Fellowship of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council [grant number APP1109193] (https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/). YG was supported by the Career Development Fellowship of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council [grant number APP1107107 & APP1163693] (https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/). The funding bodies did not play any role in the study design, data collection, data analyses, results interpretation and writing of this manuscript.

Competing Interests:

I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: YG is a member of the Editorial Board of PLOS Medicine. MA holds investigator-initiated grants from Pfizer and Boehringer-Ingelheim for unrelated research and an unrelated consultancy from Sanofi. The other authors declare no actual or potential competing financial interests.

Citation:

Xu R, Zhao Q, Coelho MSZS, Saldiva PHN, Abramson MJ, Li S, et al. (2019) The association between heat exposure and hospitalization for undernutrition in Brazil during 2000?2015: A nationwide case-crossover study. PLoS Med 16(10): e1002950. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002950

Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay

Author Affiliations:

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Management, Binzhou Medical University, Yantai, Shandong, China
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002950

PLOS

Related Global Warming Articles:

Containing methane and its contribution to global warming
Methane is a gas that deserves more attention in the climate debate as it contributes to almost half of human-made global warming in the short-term.
Global warming and extinction risk
How can fossils predict the consequences of climate change? A German research team from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the Museum of Natural History Berlin and the Alfred Wegener Institute compared data from fossil and marine organisms living today to predict which groups of animals are most at risk from climate change.
Intensified global monsoon extreme rainfall signals global warming -- A study
A new study reveals significant associations between global warming and the observed intensification of extreme rainfall over the global monsoon region and its several subregions, including the southern part of South Africa, India, North America and the eastern part of the South America.
Global warming's impact on undernourishment
Global warming may increase undernutrition through the effects of heat exposure on people, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Yuming Guo of Monash University, Australia, and colleagues.
Global warming will accelerate water cycle over global land monsoon regions
A new study provides a broader understanding on the redistribution of freshwater resources across the globe induced by future changes in the monsoon system.
Comparison of global climatologies confirms warming of the global ocean
A report describes the main features of the recently published World Ocean Experiment-Argo Global Hydrographic Climatology.
Six feet under, a new approach to global warming
A Washington State University researcher has found that one-fourth of the carbon held by soil is bound to minerals as far as six feet below the surface.
Can we limit global warming to 1.5 °C?
Efforts to combat climate change tend to focus on supply-side changes, such as shifting to renewable or cleaner energy.
Global warming: Worrying lessons from the past
56 million years ago, the Earth experienced an exceptional episode of global warming.
Global fisheries could still become more profitable despite global warming
Global commercial fish stocks could provide more food and profits in the future, despite warming seas, if adaptive management practices are implemented.
More Global Warming News and Global Warming Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.