Annals Of Behavioral Medicine 2022

Thinking Health-related Behaviors in a Climate Change Context: A Narrative Review.

Chevance G, Fresán U, Hekler E, Edmondson D, Lloyd SJ, Ballester J, Litt J, Cvijanovic I, Araújo-Soares V, Bernard P
Human activities have changed the environment so profoundly over the past two centuries that human-induced climate change is now posing serious health-related threats to current and future generations. Rapid action from all scientific fields, including behavioral medicine, is needed to contribute to both mitigation of, and adaption to, climate change.This article aims to identify potential bi-directional associations between climate change impacts and health-related behaviors, as well as a set of key actions for the behavioral medicine community.We synthesized the existing literature about (i) the impacts of rising temperatures, extreme weather events, air pollution, and rising sea level on individual behaviors (e.g., eating behaviors, physical activity, sleep, substance use, and preventive care) as well as the structural factors related to these behaviors (e.g., the food system); and (ii) the concurrent positive and negative roles that health-related behaviors can play in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.Based on this literature review, we propose a first conceptual model of climate change and health-related behavior feedback loops. Key actions are proposed, with particular consideration for health equity implications of future behavioral interventions. Actions to bridge the fields of behavioral medicine and climate sciences are also discussed.We contend that climate change is among the most urgent issues facing all scientists and should become a central priority for the behavioral medicine community.© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.