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Changing climate could worsen foods' nutrition


Changing climate could worsen foods' nutrition
Science News

A major plant source of the minerals for Ethiopia might not matter much for England with its meat-rich diet. Myers and colleagues put together an epic database of how much of 95 foods people eat in 188 countries around the world, and then calculated where the relatively modest downturns of zinc would put people at risk in the future. Nutrient changes by 2050 would push about 138 million more people into zinc deficiency, the researchers reported in 2015. And for more than 2 billion people already zinc deficient, future crop declines could make their health problems even worse.The shortfall could be especially hard on women and children. Too little zinc raises pregnant women’s risks of premature delivery and can doom children to poor weight gain and growth. A robust immune system needs adequate zinc, and public health specialists blame 100,000 child deaths a year on immune responses so enfeebled by skimpy zinc that children couldn’t fight off pneumonia or diarrhea.

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