Three-quarters of crops require pollination but the populations of many insects are in sharp decline. The inadequate pollination that results has caused a 3%-5% loss of fruit, vegetable and nut production, the research found. The lower consumption of these foods means about 1% of all deaths can now be attributed to pollinator loss, the scientists said.
The researchers considered deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, all of which can be reduced with healthier diets. The study is the first to quantify the human health toll of insufficient wild pollinators.