The Climate Change, Food Security and Human Health Nexus in Canada: A Framework to Protect Population Health.


Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Ave. W, Ottawa, ON K1A 0P8, Canada. [Email]


Climate change impacts on the Canadian food system pose risks to human health. Little attention has been paid to the climate change, food security, and human health nexus, resulting in a number of knowledge gaps regarding food system components that are most vulnerable to climate change. The lack of understanding of key dynamics and possible future impacts challenges the ability of public health officials and partners in other sectors to prepare Canadians for future health risks. A series of literature reviews were conducted to establish the relationship between climate change, food security, and human health, and to identify vulnerabilities within the Canadian food system. Evidence suggests that key activities within the food system are vulnerable to climate change. The pathways in which climate change impacts travel through the food system and affect the critical dimensions of food security to influence human health outcomes are complex. Climate-related disruptions in the food system can indirectly impact human health by diminishing food security, which is a key determinant of health. Human health may also be directly affected by the physical effects of climate change on the food system, primarily related to the impacts on nutrition and foodborne illnesses. In this study, we propose a novel analytical framework to study and respond to the climate change, food security, and human health nexus. This work is intended to help public health officials, researchers, and relevant stakeholders investigate and understand current and future risks, and inform adaptation efforts to protect the health of Canadians.


climate change,food insecurity,food security,food systems,framework,health,