Global warming is likely to increase illnesses caused by undernutrition, due to the effects of heat exposure, researchers have warned.
The study said that increased heat may cause illness through undernourishment in several ways: reducing appetites, provoking more alcohol consumption, reducing motivation or ability to shop and cook and exacerbate any undernutrition, resulting in hospitalisation.
The researchers found that for every 1 degree Celsius increase in daily mean temperature during the hot season, there was a 2.5 per cent increase in the number of hospitalizations for undernutrition.
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the reduction of hunger and undernutrition, especially in low and middle-income countries.
It has been estimated that climate change will reduce global food availability by 3.2 per cent and thus cause about 30,000 underweight-related deaths by 2050, the report said.
“The association between increased heat and hospitalization for undernutrition was greatest for individuals aged over 80, and those 5 to 19 years,”
said the researchers from Monash University, Australia.
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