AgMIP 6 Global Workshop Abstracts -Session 2.2


Session 2.2: Nutrition and Food Security

For a complete list of all of the workshop abstracts click here (PDF).

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Session 2.2: Oral Presentation

Title: Developing a value chain analysis framework to examine the health and environmental trade-offs of dietary patterns: A case study of the Mediterranean diet

Authors: Shauna Downs1 and J. Fanzo1 Institute of Human Nutrition and Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA, 2 School of Advanced International Studies and Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Abstract: Although overall healthy diets tend to be promoted as being sustainable for planetary health, there is evidence to suggest that there may be trade-offs between health and the environmental impacts of producing these diets. Without having a way to measure those trade-offs it makes it difficult for consumers to make decisions about which
are both healthy and sustainable. The overall aim of this study was to: 1) compile a dashboard of metrics to examine the health and environmental trade-offs of dietary patterns at each step of the value chain and 2) apply it to the Mediterranean diet. A review of the literature was conducted to identify key indicators for examining the environmental, economic, health, social and ecological impacts of food production and the way it moves along the value chain. Existing data sources were then compiled in order to apply the dashboard of metrics to the Mediterranean Diet. Although many components of the Mediterranean diet (vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grain cereals) are both healthy and sustainable, there are aspects of the diet that have a larger environmental footprint (dairy, fish and olive oil), which will only be exacerbated with climate change. Downstream climate impacts of extreme weather conditions will further complicate access to sustainable diets due to food price volatility. The framework developed as part of this study could be applied to other dietary patterns or specific food groups with the view to
informing the development of solutions aimed at reorienting production and
consumption patterns around sustainable diets.

Session 2.2: Oral Presentation

Title: Global and regional health impacts of future food production under climate change: a modelling study

Authors: Marco Springmann1, D. Mason-D’Croz2, S. Robinson2, T. Garnett1, H.
C. J. Godfray1, D. Gollin1, M. Rayner1, P. Ballon1, and P. Scarborough1
1 Future of Food Programme, University of Oxford, UK, 2 InternationalFood Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract: One of the most important consequences of climate change could be its impact on
agriculture. While much research has focused on questions of food security, less attention has been devoted to assessing the wider health impacts of future changes in agricultural production. We estimate excess mortality due to agriculturally mediated changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors by cause of death for 155 world regions in the year 2050.

We linked a detailed agricultural modelling framework, the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), to a comparative risk assessment of changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, red-meat consumption, and body weight for deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and an aggregate of other causes. We calculated 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.  The model projects that by 2050 climate change will lead to per-capita reductions of 3.2% (± 0.4%), 4.0% (± 0.7%), and 0.7% (± 0.1) in global food availability, fruit and vegetable consumption, and red-meat consumption, respectively. Those changes were associated with 529,000 climate-related deaths globally (95% confidence interval (CI): 314,000-736,000), representing a 28% (95% CI: 26-33%) reduction in the number of deaths that would be avoided due to changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors between 2010 and 2050. Twice as many climate-related deaths were associated with reductions in fruit and vegetable consumption than with climate-related increases in the prevalence of underweight, and most climate-related deaths were projected to occur in South and East Asia. Adopting climate-stabilization pathways reduced the number of climate-related deaths by 29-71% depending on their stringency.

Session 2.2: Oral Presentation

Title: Food System Metrics for Quantifying Nutrition and Sustainability Outcomes

Authors: Jessica Fanzo1, A. Drewnowski2, and D. Gustafson1 Johns Hopkins University, USA, 2 University of Washington, USA, 3 ILSI Research Foundation

Abstract: Human nutrition needs have not been fully addressed in most food security assessments conducted to date, which have generally focused only on achieving adequate calories, rather than including dietary diversity and micronutrient adequacy, both of which are critical to maintaining a healthy overall nutritional status. In addition, sustainability considerations have been absent, despite the tremendous economic, environmental, and social implications of meeting accelerating food demand in the face of water shortages and climate change. In response to these limitations, a new methodology has been developed based on the concept of “sustainable nutrition security” (SNS). This novel assessment methodology fills these gaps by defining seven metrics, each based on a combination of multiple indicators, for use in characterizing sustainable nutrition outcomes of food systems: (1) food nutrient adequacy; (2) ecosystem stability; (3) food affordability and availability; (4) sociocultural wellbeing; (5) food safety;
(6) resilience; and (7) waste and loss reduction. Each of the metrics comprises multiple indicators that are combined to derive an overall score (0–100). The metrics have already been used to compare current food system performance in nine countries at varying stages of economic development. Future research challenges include looking at individual diets and incorporation of the metrics into models. A novel SNS assessment methodology based on these metrics can be deployed by decision-makers and investors to set meaningful goals, track progress, and evaluate the potential impact of food system interventions intended to improve sustainability and human nutrition outcomes.

Session 2.2: Oral Presentation

Title: Interactions between environmental change, agriculture, nutrition and health: an evidence-based framework

Authors: Hanna L Tuomisto1. P.F.D. Scheelbeek1, Z. Chalabi2, M. Ezzati3, R. Green1,
A. Haines1,2, S. S. Myers4, R. Smith2, and A. D. Dangour1 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, 2 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – Faculty of Public Health Policy, 3 Imperial
College London – School of Public Health, 4 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Abstract: Background: Environmental changes, such as climate change, increased ground level ozone, and changes in water availability, pests, pathogens and pollinators, have been shown to likely cause significant impact both on agricultural yields and crop quality over the next 20-30 years. However, up till now, no comprehensive overview of all interactions between each of these factors has been developed, nor have the critical pathways been identified that link environmental change – via agricultural production and crop quality – to diets and health outcomes in the future. Furthermore, there are no existing overarching models testing whether these environmental changes are likely to result in quantifiable impacts on nutrition and health.
Methods & Results: An interdisciplinary approach was used to develop a framework for linking the multiple interactions between environmental change, agricultural productivity and crop quality, population-level food availability, dietary intake and health outcomes. The
strength of evidence for each pathway was assessed through literature reviews, and knowledge gaps were highlighted. Furthermore, the “critical pathways” that are likely to have the highest impact on future diets and health outcomes were identified.

Conclusions & Implications: The evidence based framework gives a clear overview of the multidimensional and complex interactions between environmental change, diets and health, and it forms the analytical baseline for future modelling and scenario testing. The future research will build inter-sectorial models and datasets for assessing the
impacts of environmental change on agricultural production, food availability,
nutrition and health. The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust
Our Planet, Our Health programme

Session 2.2: Oral Presentation

Title: An Income-Based Food Security Indicator for Agricultural Technology Impact Assessment

Authors: John Antle1 and R. Adhikari1 Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University, USA

Abstract: The primary goal of food security assessment is to develop an indicator that can be constructed with available data, is comparable over time and space, and represents the multiple dimensions of food security. Researchers have developed food security indicators for their assessments but most at the present fall short in adequately gauging food security. In this study, we review some of the commonly used food security indicators, analyze the extent to which these indicators satisfy key criteria, and introduce a food security indicator constructed for use in an economic impact assessment that exhibits a number of desirable properties. This income-based indicator is similar to a consumption-based poverty indicator, as it utilizes an estimate of the income required to purchase a food ‘basket’ that meets nutritional requirements, and compares this food security income requirement to the household’s per capita income. The applicability of the indicator is illustrated with an analysis of the impacts of legume inoculation technology being developed for smallholder farms in Tanzania and other parts of Africa. Combining the TOA-MD model with the proposed indicator, we find a moderate rate of inoculant adoption, and for those that do, an increase in returns, higher income, and reduced food insecurity.