three multiethnic little children playing with plastic scoops and buckets in sandbox at playground

Study: Global Warming will Impact Children’s Nutrition

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to a new study, global warming will reduce the nutritional quality of children’s diets in poor countries. But the biggest predictor of nutritional quality was not climate, it was household wealth. Coal guzzling China was cited as being a children’s nutrition success story.

Scientists warn climate change is harming children’s diets

Jan. 19  05:32 am
By Sonia Elks


Climate change could undo decades of work reducing malnutrition, scientists said on Thursday in a study finding that children in developing countries with rising temperatures are eating poorer diets.

Higher temperatures often had a bigger impact on children’s diet diversity than the gains seen from access to education, clean water and poverty reduction, said the U.S.-led study in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

“This is deeply concerning; it indicates that in many regions these positive socioeconomic and demographic changes may not be adequate to outweigh the negative effects of a changing climate going forward,” the study said.

“Warming temperatures and increasing rainfall variability could have profound short- and long-term impacts on child diet diversity, potentially undermining widespread development interventions aimed at improving food security.”

“Future climate changes have been predicted to affect malnutrition,” said lead author Meredith Niles, an assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Vermont in a statement.

Household wealth was the biggest single predictor of diet variety. Researchers found that children ate on average 3.2 food groups out of 10 possible in the 24 hours before the survey – half that of children in more affluent countries such as China.

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Climate impacts associated with reduced diet diversity in children across nineteen countries

Meredith T Niles, Benjamin F Emery, Serge Wiltshire, Molly E Brown, Brendan Fisher and Taylor H Ricketts

Published 14 January 2021

It is widely anticipated that climate change will negatively affect both food security and diet diversity. Diet diversity is especially critical for children as it correlates with macro and micronutrient intake important for child development. Despite these anticipated links, little empirical evidence has demonstrated a relationship between diet diversity and climate change, especially across large datasets spanning multiple global regions and with more recent climate data. Here we use survey data from 19 countries and more than 107,000 children, coupled with 30 years of precipitation and temperature data, to explore the relationship of climate to child diet diversity while controlling for other agroecological, geographic, and socioeconomic factors. We find that higher long-term temperatures are associated with decreases in overall child diet diversity, while higher rainfall in the previous year, compared to the long-term average rainfall, is associated with greater diet diversity. Examining six regions (Asia, Central America, North Africa, South America, Southeast Africa, and West Africa) individually, we find that five have significant reductions in diet diversity associated with higher temperatures while three have significant increases in diet diversity associated with higher precipitation. In West Africa, increasing rainfall appears to counterbalance the effect of rising temperature impacts on diet diversity. In some regions, the statistical effect of climate on diet diversity is comparable to, or greater than, other common development efforts including those focused on education, improved water and toilets, and poverty reduction. These results suggest that warming temperatures and increasing rainfall variability could have profound short- and long-term impacts on child diet diversity, potentially undermining widespread development interventions aimed at improving food security.

Read more:

The main study hilights the positive impact of affluence;

Factors associated with reductions in diet diversity include greater distance to urban centers and roads, higher livestock density, male-headed households, poor households, and higher long-term average tem- peratures (SI appendix table S4 and figure 2). Factors associated with increases in diet diversity include child age, years of education for the household head, use of an improved toilet, household wealth, and higher-than-average precipitation in the year prior to the survey (SI appendix table S4 and figure 2). While wealth is the greatest correlate predicting diet diversity, long-term average temperature and higher-than-average precipitation in the previous year correlate with diet diversity at levels equal to or greater than many variables that are often a focus of current development policy, including market access (i.e. distance to urban center), livestock density, education, and gender.

Source: Same link as above

China is cited as a children’s nutrition success, because they are a middle income nation;

… In the largest global study to date exploring the connections between child diet diversity and recent climate, we find international and regional evidence that temperature and precipitation significantly correlate with diet diversity and in many cases have a larger impact than agroecological, geographic, or sociodemographic variables. Most importantly, we find that climate factors, especially temperature, have a greater relative negative impact on diet diversity than the positive relationship of many factors that are often the target of development interventions, including education, water and sanitation, and poverty alleviation. We also find that overall child diet diversity within the study is very low, with a global average of children eating slightly more than three varied food groups daily in our sample. While there are no established cut-off points to indicate adequate or inadequate dietary diversity, these results are significantly lower, on average, than has been found in middle income countries such as China, but is consistent with child diet diversity scores in similar countries in Africa …

Source: Same link as above

China, which was every bit as poor as impoverished African countries under the Mao regime, with mass starvation killing millions, is now enjoying world class nutrition and affluence.

Why? Because they built lots of coal plants, industrialised, and got rich.

China suffered a devastating agricultural disaster last year when the Yangtze river flooded, but they didn’t suffer mass starvation – they bought their way out of trouble by importing more food.

How many impoverished African countries could afford to do this?

The study conclusion doesn’t even mention wealth, though wealth is referenced in the body of the study as the single most important predictor of childhood nutrition (see above);

4. Conclusion

In this large-scale, multi-country analysis, we demon- strate the relationship between climate on child diet diversity outcomes, including temperature, which has not been previously widely recognized. Our work demonstrates that climate variables in some regions have a relatively greater impact on diet diversity outcomes as compared to other controls variables, including some that are commonly promoted for development-oriented projects. This suggests that safeguarding child diet diversity, and related nutrition outcomes, requires adaptation efforts explicitly considering climate, though our empirical understanding of these remains limited. Future research can explore these potential adaptation strategies and their out- comes, as well as examine the impact of climate on diet diversity outcomes at different scales, and ideally, with long-term panel data.

Source: Same link as above

Even if we ignore the in my opinion dubious implicit inference that global warming would lead to more hot drought conditions (West Africa was a lot wetter during the Holocene Optimum), instead of concluding climate change is a problem, the study authors should have concluded poverty is a problem.

If poor countries want to avoid starvation and insulate themselves against crop failures, they need to copy what China did – build lots of coal plants and make a huge pile of money, to act as a buffer against any problems which arise. Then they can afford all the food imports and air conditioning they need, just like China, regardless of what problems they experience with their agriculture.

Thankfully African nations have already figured this out – according to CNN, the Chinese are helping to build at least 32GW of coal capacity in Africa. Many of the new plants are due to come online in the next decade.

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January 20, 2021 2:13 am

There is nothing at all on Earth that will not be negatively impacted by Global Warming-Climate Change and it will have absolutely no positive impacts at all. This will be true regardless of any discoveries to the contrary.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 2:58 am

You are an ass. Squared.

Reply to  paranoid goy
January 21, 2021 11:10 pm

…and I apologise, I was the ass, cubed!

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 3:09 am

There is nothing at all on Earth that will not be negatively impacted by Global Warming-

What evidence do you have for that somewhat sweeping statement?

Last edited 2 years ago by strativarius
Reply to  fretslider
January 20, 2021 3:44 am

There is nothing at all on Earth that will not be negatively impacted by Global Warming

What evidence do you have for that somewhat sweeping statement?”

That is the AGW meme. !!

Reply to  fretslider
January 20, 2021 3:51 am

I just assumed that Nicholas didn’t bother with “sarc” at the end of his statement.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 3:38 am

Come one guys, that was pure sarc !!

Reply to  fred250
January 20, 2021 5:54 am

Yes, it seems that Nicolas is fond of sarcasm (nothing wrong with that). Another post of his on flooding of Pacific Islands was, “Perhaps if they arranged an extensive outdoor poetry reading in Majuro it would force back the waters and save the Marshall Islands from immersion. It would be rather like a rain dance but with the opposite effect.”

His comments are provoking at the very least. Bravo.

Reply to  Scissor
January 20, 2021 4:26 pm

Nicholas’s above statement is a rephrasing and simplification of Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way”

Richard Page
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 3:39 am

“There is nothing at all on Earth that will not be negatively impacted by Global Warming-Climate Change ALARMISM” There, fixed it for ya Nicky!

Last edited 2 years ago by Richard Page
Kevin Stall
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 5:44 am

How about more liveable land. less frozen areas? more plant growth.

Fred Z
Reply to  Kevin Stall
January 21, 2021 3:16 am

Global warming will turn large parts of northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia into arable, highly productive farm lands.
If anything global warming will improve the diets of all humans and create enormous bio-diversity in areas now producing food for neither people or animals.
Lefties are a horrible combination of evil liars and retarded fools.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 6:31 am

Nice sarcasm, I dont see why others cant see it. 🙂

David A
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
January 20, 2021 7:40 am

SARC challenged?

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
January 20, 2021 6:19 pm

To misquote that great philosopher, Paul Simon, “Still a man sees what he wants to see, and disregards the rest.”

Walter Horsting
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 7:04 am
David A
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 7:39 am

Insert SARC yes?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 20, 2021 11:33 am

Clearly, Nick has jumped the sarc.

Peta of Newark
January 20, 2021 2:47 am

Oh dear..
Yes the article under discussion :-/ is a Total Train Wreck

So, what happens next..
We see a response that pulls up more railroad track, steals copper from signaling system, & destroys bridges holding up the track
It linksto the Wiki, a generally acknowledged Train Wreck in its own right and the Wiki, says that the Sahara was created, also the Fertile Crescent destroyed, by Orbital Changes.
Its all just sooooo awful

To try cut it short..
The Peoples of The Pacific North-West
Relied on salmon as their staple food source.
Salmon disappeared on occasion, due to the (still misunderstood) vagaries of ENSO
The North Western folks then went out to find whatever, whenever & and anything they could to eat in order to stay alive
i.e. Not starve

In contemporary times, they would be lauded.
Surely, they were helping themselves to “A Balance And Varied Diet”

Cryptically, they referred to theses times as:
“Times Of The Full Stomach”

They were fat, bloated, felt poorly all the time and were constantly hungry/eating (that variation on ‘a balanced diet’)
Sound familiar? If not, just look around you, Look in the mirror. Get on the weighing scales

Do not confuse Quantity with Quality or Copious Food with Good Nutrition.
Or…you will get..

  • Full/fat stomachs
  • Obesity
  • Pre and actual diabetes
  • Myriad Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Asperger’s, Autism, Downs in you children and your self
  • Chronic depression
  • Addictive and self-destructive behaviours
  • Gender confusion
  • Junk science
  • Magical Thinking
  • Socialism
  • Alzheimers’
  • Medical bills/invoices requiring delivery by 18-wheelers
  • …and spend the last 10 years of your life as a nappy-wearing cabbage

Nice. Bring it on.
Oh. wait……………..

Last edited 2 years ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 20, 2021 2:54 pm

Pre-European West Coast folk had artistically one of the most advanced such cultures. Fabulous ocean-going canoes, totem poles, elaborate capes and masks. That requires an artistic work force not needed for harvesting food.
The proof that there was ample and consistent food is that they stayed here and could afford an artican class for building boats and an artistic class for the totem poles.
No too far away from where I live in Vancouver there is an ancient midden on the Fraser River. Some 4,000 years old. Some 300 years ago, the community moved downstream. Not for better fishing, but because a silt island formed where they were.

January 20, 2021 2:57 am

So Baal Gates, chief evangelist for GMO food-like products, is telling us the deterioration of health and nutrition has nothing to do with him and his friends poisoning our food chain, it is all because of global warming? It is not him corrupting agriculture or bankrupting family farms, it is not his friends stealing children and teaching them that “prostitution is a viable career opportunity”. I did not even bother to read past the part where he blames the decrease in food diversity on temperature, instead of corporate monoploy, or as Monsanto says: “…eradicating wild strains in favour of sustainable monocrops…”
These people are flooding the collective conciousness with their Bolshevik lies, and we sit around discussing the nitty gritty little details of weather patterns?
The issue here is not climate, it is the decimation of mankind via our food and ‘medicine’, GMOs and vaccines, Roundup and pain pills, organophosphates and ADD medication, which is crystal meths for kiddies, it is about destroying the family unit and eradicating cultures.
Then people like Nicholas Tesdorf get paid to sit in momma’s basement pissing on everyone’s intellect by glibly prophesying doom because they think we are too obsessed with their #MeToo Hollywood whores to remember how the weather is never the same day to day. Go to hell, Nicholas, go troll your frigging mother!
Sorry for screaming, this asshole Nicholas just irritated me at the wrong moment.

Last edited 2 years ago by paranoid goy
Richard Page
Reply to  paranoid goy
January 20, 2021 3:43 am

I think you may have stopped editing a bit too soon. Your post is still coming across as some sort of extreme misogynistic hateful diatribe. Perhaps a little more self-control in a public space?

Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 4:58 am

Do you even know what the term ‘mysogynistic’ means? Why don’t you lean over to Nick’s cubicle and slap him for being stupid? Or does your troll farm work out of a basement?

Reply to  paranoid goy
January 20, 2021 11:11 am

I suggest you should slap yourself, hard, a few time first , !

Maybe then you would wake up to yourself.

very old white guy
Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 7:33 am

I think he was quite rational.

Reply to  paranoid goy
January 20, 2021 10:52 am

I normally don’t comment much but in this case I think you are actually quite wrong in your comments about Nicholas Tesdorf. If you read the last part of his comment, “This will be true regardless of any discoveries to the contrary” I think it gives it away as kidding. No one who is serious about his first statement would have offered that final qualifier. So it wasn’t a serious comment, which leaves sarcasm.

So I think you misread him. What I find interesting is why you felt it required such a strong personal negative attack. Some of what you said is pretty vile. Especially if you misread what he was saying.

Now we could argue that the individual posting has the requirement to make his points easily understood and in this case maybe he didn’t. That is a fair response. OK. But why so much vitriol? Is that really how you would want to be treated?

Reply to  StevenF
January 21, 2021 11:08 pm

…and at the end of this terrible thread, I look at it all, and I say this:
My humblest apologies to Nicholas. I have many excuses for my behaviour, and not one single good reason. I did indeed miss the sarcasm, and Nicholas ended up as collateral damage of my shotgun rage.
I hope I can be forgiven, lesson learned.
The diatribe against Ball Gates and his Bolshevik scum toadies, however, stands, including the swipe at the prostitutes populating Hollywood. They bent over that casting couch very willingly for a chance at fame.

January 20, 2021 3:02 am

So warmer is worse; wetter is better.

Please, sir, what about wetter and warmer? Or shouldn’t I ask?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 20, 2021 10:10 am

I don’t know about Newminster, but people call me names anyway so I’ll just ask away.

Walter Horsting
Reply to  Newminster
January 20, 2021 8:19 am

Wetter is the Irish Potato famine.

Steve Case
January 20, 2021 3:06 am

“Factors associated with reductions in diet diversity include greater distance to urban centers and roads, higher livestock density, male-headed households,…”

Translation: “Broken homes in the cities and low protein diets…”

January 20, 2021 3:08 am

China, which was every bit as poor as impoverished African countries under the Mao regime, with mass starvation killing millions, is now enjoying world class nutrition and affluence.

China burns cheap coal and gets cheap energy and enjoys world class nutrition and affluence.

Africa needs to pull its finger out and give up the [western imposed sense of] victimhood.

Coeur de Lion
January 20, 2021 3:08 am

So cooling will fix it. I think Nicholas Tesdorf is having a tease.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
January 20, 2021 3:41 am

I think Nicholas Tesdorf is having a tease.


Ya think ! 😉

Last edited 2 years ago by fred250
sky king
January 20, 2021 3:13 am

Amazing what tripe people shamelessly put their name on.
I live in the Philippines that since 1850 has “suffered” a .5C to .8C upwards temperature trend. The only thing I see here that prevents diversity in diet is poverty.

Richard Page
Reply to  sky king
January 20, 2021 3:49 am

Exactly. Poverty and the lack of access to adequate food is a killer. Unfortunately so many climate alarmists have bought into the 18thC colonial lie of the ‘noble savage’ and see poverty in poorer countries as a virtue. Things need to change – rather than throwing conscience money at a problem we need to start investing in the infrastructure they need not the one we think they should have.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 6:47 am

I’m not going to pay to read the study but I wonder if they used GAT as the normal increase in temperature or if they used regional temps appropriate to the areas studied. Even GAT proponents admit that not everywhere warms per the GAT. (I am not saying GAT is correct or even meaningful as a measure here, use that using it a general purpose increase is incorrect.)

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Richard Page
January 20, 2021 8:59 pm

There will eventually need to be Climate Change Policy Crimes against Humanity trials.

They should be held in the poorest country in Africa with the poorest subsistence farmers as judge, jury and executioner.

Barnes Moore
January 20, 2021 4:28 am

Just in time for Beijing Buyden to use in his 1st 100 day climate crisis action plan. He is about to fulfill Obama’s promise of skyrocketing electricity bills with the added benefit of rolling blackouts. China and Russia are laughing their asses off at the stupidity of western idiot leaders.

Richard (the cynical one)
January 20, 2021 5:05 am

Global cooling will have an even greater impact on nutrition. Maybe a bit more greenhouse gassing is in order to defer the inevitable as long as possible.

January 20, 2021 5:18 am

Most of us will recognize this as one of the standard ploys these groups use:

“Women and children affected most.”

Ref. the old story of God announcing the end of the world and how the WSJ, etc., report it.

very old white guy
Reply to  cedarhill
January 20, 2021 7:39 am

Yes, men never starve.

Kevin Stall
January 20, 2021 5:37 am

That seems to ignore the higher cost which alternative energy has. That is the real limiting factor.

Matthew Sykes
January 20, 2021 6:30 am

Yet crop yields have gone up 200% since 1900, poverty and starvation reduces decadally.

This entire article is a pack of lies.

CO2 makes plants produce more food, that is why it is used to do that in greenhouses, it makes plants more drought resistant, and is predicted to increase rainfall globally.

Coach Springer
January 20, 2021 6:35 am

So their study proves that all of the farmers and nutritionists are powerless. That’s a powerful study right there.

January 20, 2021 7:01 am

Note the plastic buckets in the photo

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 20, 2021 10:49 am

In fact everything in the photo is imported except the sand….from sand mining operations.

very old white guy
January 20, 2021 7:29 am

I guess us adults will just carry on as normal and let our poor wee kiddies starve.

Joel O’Bryan
January 20, 2021 8:07 am

Climate change policy is far and away the biggest threat to humanity and the Earth’s ecosystems. Green Marxists don’t care. Looked at how many hundreds of millions of innocent lives were disposed of in the 20th Century in their quest for power in Russia/USSR and China alone. Now they want to repeat that in the 21st Century in the West. Climate change is their Trojan Horse to power and a resulting global g e n o c i d e.

January 20, 2021 9:23 am

Another hypothesis presented as data. It’s testable over time, so we shall see.

Mathieu Simoneau
January 20, 2021 11:32 am

@Eric Worral

Sound conclusion, in a world that constantly produce excess food the only possible thing that can prevent access to that excess is money.

Bruce Cobb
January 20, 2021 11:52 am

Clearly, “Climate Change” is causing scientists to become dumber. I mean, what else could it be?

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 20, 2021 1:29 pm

Follow the money. Scare stories elicit government grants.

Pat from Kerbob
January 20, 2021 2:00 pm

automatic assumption that food supply will be negatively impacted when all evidence is contrary

Mr. Lee
January 20, 2021 4:12 pm

“that safeguarding child diet diversity”
“negatively affect both food security”

It all smacks of language put out by some subcommittee of Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety. What a bunch of creeps.

January 20, 2021 4:16 pm

A portion of their “Methods”.
Some reformatting for readability and bolded words of interest.

“we consolidated “Demographic Health Surveys [DHS]” across 47 countries. We normalized survey responses across these countries for over 200 DHS variables.

We used geocoded cluster references to add economic and ecological data to the health and household data of DHS (see [62] for details).

Here we compile data across 19 developing countries in Africa, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia for geographic diversity of this original aggregated dataset.

The DHS dataset was subsampled to select only the variables of interest (including complete data for diet diversity, which was limited), based on previous research, and some minor data cleaning was applied where necessary (for example, standardizing the encoding of missing values across the dataset).

Our key dependent variable—an individual diet diversity score (IDDS)—is constructed through a series of questions in the DHS related to dietary intake of children under five.

The IDDS is based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization [63], and is a scale ranging from 0 to 10 based on intake of 10 types of foods including:

(a) cereal grains;

(b) white tubers and root foods;

(c) dark leafy greens;

(d) vitamin A rich vegetable/tubers;

(e) vitamin A rich fruits;

(f) other fruits and vegetables;

(g) meat and fish foods;

(h) eggs;

(i) legumes/nuts/seeds; and

(j) milk and milk products.

This following summation sentence epitomizes cherry picking.

We incorporate other variables of interest as described in table 1, which include variables from both the DHS surveys as well as other global datasets.”

Imagine that, a U.N. DH survey that is conducted for “individuals“?
Not likely.

“Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station (CHIRPS) dataset combines 0.05° resolution satellite imagery with in-situ station data to generate 30 years of local rainfall timeseries data across most of the globe at a 1 month temporal resolution.”

One month temporal data? Against individual diet surveys?

Combines 0.05° resolution satellite imagery with in-situ station data“?
How does that work in many countries with very few stations?

“Based on the survey month,

we calculated several temperature and precipitation columns from the raw timeseries CHIRP/TS data.

Is that “several temperature and precipitation columns” supposed to impress someone?

We selected current and previous month values from the raw data.

We calculated annual means by averaging the 12 months prior to and including the survey month.

We calculated long-term averages by averaging monthly values across all full years between the survey month and the beginning of the CHIRP/TS timeseries. For example, if there were 124 months of available data preceding the survey month, only 120 months (10 full years)”

The moment authors decide to describe how they calculate means and averages is a moment to worry.

Much ado about nothing.

Tim Gorman
January 20, 2021 4:25 pm

We find that higher long-term temperatures are associated with decreases in overall child diet diversity,”

Where exactly are these “higher long-term temperatures occurring. Here’s a graph of the monthly cooling degree-day data for the past 240 months (ten years) from the Lucknow, India measurement station). It shows that any temperature increases have peaked and are on the way down. Look at the 2nd degree polynomial trend line.

If we aren’t seeing temp increases in India, where there are lots of poor people, then where?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tim Gorman
January 20, 2021 4:27 pm

Here is a graph from Maradi, Niger showing the past 198 months of cooling degree-day data. Again, where is the warming trend?

Robert of Ottawa
January 20, 2021 6:24 pm

OK Everybody do as we say or the baby gets it.

January 21, 2021 9:46 am

No need to go beyond those three words … “Climate change could”

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