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The Scope of Climate Change on Anemia (By: Keerthi Padmanabhan and Neha Dheen)

It's all connected. From the air you breathe, to the foods you eat.

Climate Change has an increasing number of consequences due to the growing Carbon Dioxide emissions. In fact, these carbon dioxide emissions deplete the nutritional value in staple crops that causes a major threat to food security. According to Sam Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance at the Harvard Chan School, “when food crops like wheat, corn, rice and soy are exposed to CO2 at levels predicted for 2050, the plants lose as much as 10% of their zinc, 5% of their iron, and 8% of their protein content.” The loss of these essential nutrients can lead to major health problems including Iron Deficiency Anemia, an illness that can drastically affect one’s lifestyle. In our first expert panel we hosted in October, Dr. Sanjeev, a physician, was able to speak to us. According to Sanjeev, “Anemia affects 1.62 billion people, globally.” Additionally, Anemia is most common among pregnant women, and preschoolers, the groups that need iron and zinc in their diets the most. During pregnancy, iron is crucial to the development of a healthy fetus, and zinc helps build the baby’s cells and DNA.

We also had the opportunity to gain some insight from American Epidemiologist, Kristie Ebi. Dr. Ebi has given a Ted talk regarding how climate change affects our nutrition content in our food. In places such as India and Africa, where the diet of many is composed primarily of starch, nutritional voids that occur as a result of climate change can cause many to develop deficiencies in iron, protein, and other nutrients. According to Dr. Ebi, foods could have up to a 30% decline in folate, a vitamin that is key for the healthy

development of red blood cells and cell growth.

If this destructive greenhouse gas continues to persist in our atmosphere, how will we be able to feed our ever growing world population especially the mothers supporting not one, but two lives?

We encourage you to look at the presentations our guest speakers presented!

Dr. Ebi's Presentation:

Download PPTX • 9.03MB

Dr. Sanjeev's Presentation:

Anemia (1)
Download PDF • 560KB

Dr. Ebi's Ted Talk

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