Nutrition from a climate change perspective

J I Macdiarmid* (Corresponding Author), S Whybrow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Climate change is threatening future global food and nutrition security. Limiting the increase in global temperature to 1·5 °C set out in The Paris Agreement (2015) while achieving nutrient security means overhauling the current food system to create one that can deliver healthy and sustainable diets. To attain this, it is critical to understand the implications for nutrition of actions to mitigate climate change as well as the impacts of climate change on food production and the nutrient composition of foods. It is widely recognised that livestock production has a much greater environmental burden than crop production, and therefore advice is to reduce meat consumption. This has triggered concern in some sectors about a lack of protein in diets, which hence is driving efforts to find protein replacements. However, in most high- and middle-income countries, protein intakes far exceed dietary requirements and it would even if all meat were removed from diets. Reduction in micronutrients should be given more attention when reducing meat. Simply eating less meat does not guarantee healthier or more sustainable diets. Climate change will also affect the type, amount and nutrient quality of food that can be produced. Studies have shown that increased temperature and elevated CO2 levels can reduce the nutrient density of some staple crops, which is of particular concern in low-income countries. Nutrition from a climate change perspective means considering the potential consequences of any climate action on food and nutrition security. In this paper, we discuss these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-387
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • climate change
  • nutrition
  • protein
  • sustainable diets
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • reference nutrient intake
  • sustainable development goals
  • Sustainable diets
  • Climate change
  • Nutrition
  • Protein
  • MEAT
  • FOOD


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