Food and Health

Health Definitions


Variations in Health


Life expectancy stats:

Life Expectancy - Our World in Data

Life expectancy has increased at both national and global scales, although they might be different at the local level. This is due to rising incomes and better lifestyles achieved with such incomes. Reasons for life expectancy rises to include:


Explaining Life Expectancy: Income

Calculating Your Income: Three Reasons Why it Matters - Kendrick ...

As shown in the graph above, people with low income have a lower life expectancy. People struggle to purchase basic necessities such as clean water or good quality food. As income increases, lifestyle choices about those purchases begin to be more important than the level of income itself. This means that despite an increasing income, a poor choice may lead to a drop in life expectancy due to lifestyle factors.



Explaining Life Expectancy: Lifestyle

Image result for Geography food and health


Prevention vs Cure

Prevention is no doubt better than cure - Dr Ross Walker - Medium

Prevention because…

Curing because…



Global availability of food

10 food rules to live by | Sanitarium Health Food Company

Global patterns of calorie intake


Food security: When all people have safe, sufficient access to nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy life.


Areas of food sufficiency and deficiency

Irrigation - Think Water New Zealand - Design, Supply, Install ...

Tools used to increase food output


Green revolution

IoT set to fuel next Green Revolution in farming - Inmarsat

The Green Revolution, or Third Agricultural Revolution, is a set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, particularly in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.

After World War II, newly implemented technologies, including pesticides and fertilizers as well as new breeds of high yield crops, greatly increased global food production.


IR8 Rice Case study:

IR8 is a high-yielding semi-dwarf rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Mexico in the early 1960s. In November 1966, “the variety was first introduced in the Philippines and India.” Promoters such as the IRRI and farmer benefactors of IR8 have called it miracle rice, and celebrate it for fighting famine.

Locations of IRRI research stations in the Yaqui Valley and Chapingo.

IR8 - YouTube

Main Advantages

Main Problems


Why are there food deficiencies? 

Nutritional challenge: Optimal intake the key to future success as ...

Multiple environmental, political, social, and economic factors such as:


Social factors


Political factors


Economic factors


Environmental factors


Demographic factors



Famine case study (the Horn of Africa, 2011)

The famine of Africa in 2011 caused more than 100,000 deaths and approximately 9 million affected in some way. As there was a food crisis alongside a civil war, it caused forced migration and overcrowding at refugee camps, leading to more diseases. It was one of the worst famines in 60 years.




Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died in southern Somalia before famine was declared. This was mainly a result of Western governments preventing aid from reaching affected areas in an attempt to weaken the Al-Shabaab militant group, against whom they were engaged.



Poverty and global markets


Production and markets

India claims to be self-sufficient in food production but facts ...

There are many factors affecting the production and availability of food. These include:



A Tale of Three Countries: Are Farm Subsidies Necessary?

Trading blocs (free trade among members) such as the EU made a Common Agricultural Policy that guaranteed prices and thence a guaranteed market. There were export subsidies to make prices competitive. Other examples include ASEAN, NAFTA. (Common fisheries policy is another example)



Trade Barriers (taxes on imports, restrictions)

Trade Barriers : canada

Protects home industries and increases self-sufficiency, employment opportunities. 


Reduction in production as quota restricts exports of a country, specialization will cause problems if prices drop or tax increases.


Bilateral and Multilateral arrangements

ISO - Feeding the world

Bilateral agreements from one producer and consumers (Sainsbury and bananas from St Lucia) increase production. Multilateral agreements are when consumers agree to import goods from countries. ACP- (African, Caribbean, Pacific) produced bananas favored in EU over US TNCs. 

Addressing Imbalances

To alleviate food shortages, food aid, free and fair trade are of key importance.


Food aid 

Yemen: World Food Programme to cut aid by half in Houthi ...

World Food Programme has emergency feeding programs (2008- 755 million), victims of Sudan, etc. However only to most desperate people.


Free Trade

Trade liberalization, lowering farm subsidies in the USA and undoing some of the protectionism of the EU's CAP should help poor farmers in the future, but the direct impact could be to raise food prices in the developing world, as producers focus on western markets.


Fair Trade

Petition · Cadbury Australia, increase your range of Fairtrade ...

Fair or ethical trade can be declined as a trade that attempts to be socially, economically, and environmentally responsible. It is trading in which companies take responsibility for the wider impact of their business. Ethical trading is an attempt to address the failings of the global trading system.


Sustainable Agriculture

Organic farming drives sustainable agriculture


Energy efficiency ratios: Measure of outputs vs inputs

Sustainable yield: Amount of yield that can be taken from the land without reducing the ability of the land to produce the same amount of goods in the future without inputs.

Food miles: The distance that food travels from where it’s produced to where it’s consumed. Dependent on oil usually so unsustainable. Eg, Christmas dinners are unsustainable.


Global Patterns of Disease (Affluence and Poverty)


The most common diseases are heart disease that affects MICs mostly, LICs suffer from a wider range of diseases.


Communicable disease:  Disease that is transmittable (blood, bodily fluid)

Non-communicable disease: Diseases that are not transferable (autism)

Prevalence: Number of cases per 10000 people 

Incidence: Total number of cases a year

Pandemic disease: Viral diseases worldwide

Endemic disease: Native diseases that stay  [Using the epidemiologic transition, there is a correlation between development and mortality rate.]


Diseases of affluence

Diseases of affluence | Teaching Resources

Diseases of affluence are associated with non-communicable diseases as the prevalence of communicable diseases is lower in richer societies.

Usually elderly get it (good medical care). E.g. Heart disease and cancer. Due to unhealthy lifestyles, these diseases occur:

- smoking, leading to cancer
- overeating, leading to obesity-related diseases
- drinking excess alcohol, leading to liver problems



Living a Healthy Life with Diabetes - a Juggling Act! | Age ...

Diabetes is a good example. Firstly, most people are unaware that Type 1 is not related to lifestyle factors, while Type 2 has risk factors such as a poor diet and lack of exercise. Secondly, even Type 2 can develop in individuals who have healthy lifestyles. 


Diseases of poverty

Nat Geo Series 'The Hot Zone' Highlights The Dangerous Connection ...

Diseases of poverty are caused when no protection is given to conditions, often linked to poverty conditions. E.g. poor housing, water supply, food, education

Usually, people in LICs get it.


The Spread of Disease


Diffusion: By Relocation: Diseases move to a new area, leaving original behind (humans migrate)

Expansion: Move to new areas while remaining in the original area (HIV)

Barriers: Factor that causes the prevention of a disease

Epidemic: Increase in the number of cases of disease over what is expected


Barriers to Disease

Quarantine is emotionally challenging, but there are ways ...



Case Study: Malaria

Malaria - Our World in Data

Malaria Kills 3 million annually mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. It is widespread in tropical countries, costing 1.1 billion annually. This is worsened through the factors described below.


Factors causing:




Limiting the spread of malaria:


The Kenya Malaria Strategy

The New Humanitarian | In Kenya, a stagnating fight against ...

The Kenya Malaria Strategy (2014-2018) involves several interventions:

Vector Control

Insecticide-Treated Nets | National Geographic Society


Case Management

WHO | How malaria RDTs work


Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization


Millennium Villages Project in Sauri, western Kenya

Shower of Aid Brings Flood of Progress - The New York Times

The management strategies applied in Kenya can be seen through the example of Millennium Development Villages (reduces epidemics one village at a time)

The village is warm and humid hence more malaria occurs. It covers 11 villages. Through the changes made to not just malaria intervention, but also poverty reduction efforts, malaria in Sauri reduced from 50% to 8% between 2000 and 2012.

This is helped by rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) allowing 100 cases instead of 40 cases per day to be looked at.


Case Study: AIDS and HIV

Lessons the AIDS epidemic has for coronavirus - CNNPolitics

AIDS/HIV has impacted many people around the world, more in some areas than others. Over 70% of HIV cases are in Africa, a very skewed amount compared to others. This causes multiple impacts on people.





Impacts: A large round blue object with a smaller red object attached to it. Multiple small green spots are speckled over both.


What are the social effects?

Families in poverty cannot afford the medical healthcare. Consequently the death rate is increasing and therefore:


What are the economic effects?

Help for Orphans


What is Botswana doing to combat the problem?

Hero Condoms hits Coles and Woolworths shelves to fight HIV






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