Research press release


Nature Food

Economics: Dietary health in the UK could suffer under new Brexit trade agreements

英国の欧州連合(EU)離脱に関連した交渉によって締結される貿易協定が、英国の健康的な食事を損なう可能性があることを示唆する論文が、Nature Food に掲載される。しかし、こうしたリスクは、補助金改革、栄養政策、健康的な食事を推奨する貿易協定によって軽減できる可能性がある。


今回のMarco SpringmannとFlorian Freundは、統合型健康–経済モデル化の手法を用いて、英国の健康的な食事が貿易協定の種類によってどのような影響を受けるかを予測した。米国と英連邦諸国との間の自由貿易協定は、高エネルギー食品の流通量の増加を通じて英国のEU離脱が健康に及ぼす悪影響を3倍増加させ、肥満関連リスクの増大につながる可能性がある。英国のEU離脱の結果、健康を増進させる食品と輸入に依存する食品(果物や野菜など)の価格が上昇し、そのために消費量が減少し、その結果、食事に関連した死亡率が上昇する可能性がある。これに対しては、園芸食品の輸入関税を撤廃し、英国国内の果物、野菜、豆類、ナッツ類の生産者を支援するための農業補助金の改革を行うことで、こうした悪影響を緩和できる可能性がある。


Trade deals arising from Brexit-related negotiations may compromise dietary health in the UK, suggests a paper published in Nature Food. These risks, however, could be mitigated with subsidy reform, nutrition policy and trade agreements that advocate healthy eating.

Almost half of the food consumed in the UK — including more than three quarters of fruits and vegetables — is imported, meaning that the UK’s food system will be greatly affected by the ongoing trade talks that are taking place between the UK and other trading partners. Trade agreements can improve access to nutritious food and increase the diversity of food supply. However, such agreements can also lead to disproportionately large increases in the import and domestic production of unhealthy and highly processed foods that are calorie-rich and nutrient-poor. This can have diet-related health implications for conditions such as cancer and coronary heart disease.

Marco Springmann and Florian Freund used integrated health–economic modelling to predict how dietary health in the UK would be impacted by different types of trade deals. Free-trade deals with the US and Commonwealth countries could triple the negative health impacts of Brexit through greater availability of high-energy foods, leading to increased weight-related risks. Increased costs for health-promoting and import-dependent foods — such as fruits and vegetables — as a result of Brexit could lead to their reduced consumption and consequently, increased diet-related mortality. However, removing tariffs on horticultural imports and reforming the UK’s agricultural subsidies to support domestic production of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, could mitigate these negative effects.

These findings provide an important opportunity for the UK to develop nutrition-sensitive trade policy and subsidy reforms to improve dietary health, at a crucial time when trade talks are ongoing.

doi: 10.1038/s43016-021-00306-9


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