The global effect of extreme weather events on nutrient supply: A superposed epoch analysis

Caroline S. Park, Elisabeth Vogel, Leila M. Larson, Samuel S. Myers, Mark Daniel, Beverley Ann Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: To date, the effects of extreme weather events on nutrient supply within the population have not been quantified. In this study, we investigated micronutrient, macronutrient, and fibre supply changes during 175 extreme weather events within 87 countries in the year that a major extreme weather event occurred, with a targeted focus on low-income settings. Methods: We collected data from the International Disasters Database and the Global Expanded Nutrient Supply model for the period 1961–2010, and applied superposed epoch analysis to calculate the percentage change in nutrient supply during the year of an extreme weather event relative to its historical context. We composited globally and by subgroup (EU, landlocked developing countries, least developed countries, low-income food deficit countries, and net food-importing developing countries). Lastly, we reported nutrient supply changes in terms of recommended dietary allowance for children aged 1–3 years. Findings: Globally, all micronutrient supplies had a modest negative percentage change during the year of an extreme weather event; of these effects, those that reached an α=0·05 significance level included calcium, folate, thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, with nutrient supply changes ranging from −0·40 to −1·73% of the average supply. The effect of an extreme weather event was especially magnified among landlocked developing countries and low-income food deficit countries, with significant nutrient supply changes ranging from −1·61 to −7·57% of the average supply. Furthermore, the observed nutrient supply deficits in landlocked developing countries constituted a large percentage (ranging from 1·95 to 39·19%) of what a healthy child's sufficient average dietary intake should be. Interpretation: The global effects of extreme weather events on nutrient supply found in this study are modest in isolation; however, in the context of nutrient needs for healthy child development in low-income settings, the effects observed are substantial. Funding: Australian-American Fulbright Commission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e429-e438
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet Planetary Health
Volume3
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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