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UniOfManchester165 karma

Our study was open to participants with chronic pain. This included people who experience migraines. In the sample that we conducted our analysis on, 10% of our participants reported experiencing chronic headache (including migraine) when they joined the study. Unfortunately the smaller numbers of people with particular conditions versus the overall sample meant that it wasn't possible to draw conclusions specifically for those conditions.

UniOfManchester165 karma

Good question. In short, yes. Food currently causes about 25% of all climate change. Different foods cause very different amounts of climate change, so reducing our food climate impacts by 50% is doable (e.g. that amount of reduction has been found for average vegan diets - but see above that it doesn't have to be so restrictive / simple as going vegan). This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% (50% of 25%), which is significant. Furthermore, if spared land could to be used to combat climate change, e.g. planting trees, then that could offset our remaining food emissions i.e. reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. However, this still leaves 75% of climate change that needs to be addressed i.e. we do also need to stop burning fossil fuels. When we've done that, then food will be the biggest cause of climate change so we need to be thinking about that too

UniOfManchester139 karma

I am more optimistic now than I used to be, now I know more information. We have all the technology breakthroughs we need to address climate change ... if everyone were to implement the changes needed... The most promising thing I learnt researching about food and climate change was about land: the foods that cause the most climate change also tend to use the most land, so if we change our diets to eat less of them, then we free up land. We really need land to address climate change e.g. by planting / keeping more trees. To give an example to illustrate this, on average, plant-based foods use 16 times less land than animal-based foods. This means that in the extreme case where everyone in the world went vegan, this would free up 3/4 i.e. the majority of agricultural land for other purposes including forest. Since 37% of the ice-free land on Earth is used for agriculture, that's a lot of land! I'm not suggesting we need to go that far, but it shows there's a lot of potential

UniOfManchester137 karma

We didn't specifically look at SAD. People did report their mood in our smartphone app, and we found that mood had a stronger association with pain compared to the effect of the weather (but it did not explain the association between the weather and pain, so we found an association between weather and pain even beyond mood).

UniOfManchester102 karma

Thanks for your great question. Recycling is important for lots of reasons - in terms of climate change it reduces greenhouse gas emissions because the energy needed to recycle is lower than that needed to extract + use the raw materials. But for most foods, the contents of the packaging has a bigger impact on climate change than the packaging itself. For the most part, animal-based foods cause more climate change than plant-based foods (per gram of food or per gram of protein), though it depends a lot on farming practices, and e.g. air-freighted fruit and veg can cause similar climate impacts as the lower emissions meats like chicken. There are big differences in climate impacts between different types of food e.g. an 8oz steak and fries dinner causes over 20 times the climate impact of a microwaved potato and beans - so we can make a big difference by changing our choices. Luckily some of these changes don't break the bank (beans are cheaper than steak!), though I know from personal experience that experimenting with new meals doesn't always go down so well with the kids, so that part is tough... For most people, the simplest place to start is quantities: e.g. halving the quantity of the meat, while adding more veggies! You're right that composting helps - food waste sent to landfill causes extra emissions because it decomposes into methane, a potent greenhouse gas - whereas composting decomposes mostly to carbon dioxide. I know its tough with kids to avoid food waste, but again it can also save money. In our house fwiw, people help themselves from cooking bowl/tray, and if you put it on your plate you need to eat it up, or promise to take less next time! Hope that helps!