Climate change is likely to have an effect on global food production but to examine effects on food and nutrition security, an appreciation of the dimensions of food security is required. The 1996 World Food Summit defined food security as ‘when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active healthy life’. Thus food security is largely multi-factorial and defined by context. Australia and New Zealand both have substantial agricultural profiles and there is a significant production in meat and livestock, dairy and grains from the region. Both countries are islands, surrounded by oceans with extensive fisheries, bearing in mind that the local ecology will reflect the type of fish that are available. Meeting dietary needs and food preferences in this context would mean taking into account the health profiles of the population and how these relate to the food that is available now and in the future. Layering in the effects of climate change means that the high prevalence of lifestyle related disease (obesity, heart disease, diabetes) and the vulnerability of at risk groups, particularly in remote communities in Australia, will require additional consideration.
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Tapsell, L. C., Probst, Y., Lawrence, M., Friel, S., Flood, V. M., McMahon, A. & Butler, R. (2011). Food and nutrition security in the Australia-New Zealand region: impact of climate change. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, 102 192-200.