Nearly 40 percent of the world's adult population are either overweight or obese and 10 percent are affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD).1,2 As the two problems often go hand-in-hand, World Kidney Day 2017, on 9 March, will focus on obesity as a risk factor for CKD and offer advice on the lifestyle changes that everyone can make to reduce their risk of both health issues.
Obesity, which can be defined as excessive fat that may impair health1, increases the risk of a person developing other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes — and these health problems then increase the risk of developing CKD.3
While obesity has traditionally been seen as an adult health issue, an alarming number of children are now affected. The most recent global statistics available show, that 41 million children worldwide under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Nearly half of these children lived in Asia.1
Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. In addition to these increased future risks, obese children may experience breathing problems, increased risk of broken bones, high blood pressure, early markers of heart disease, and early signs of diabetes, not to mention that being obese might also have psychological effects.1
No parent or carer wants any of this for their children. But how do we begin to compete with advertising of fast foods and sugary soft drinks? And how can we encourage children to have less ‘screen time’ and instead get outside with their friends to enjoy more physical activity?
Kidney health education with a new superhero
Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s leading provider of dialysis products and services is investing in new way to support people live healthier lives. To help lay the foundations of lifelong healthy habits, Fresenius Medical Care has created an engaging superhero, The Kidney Kid. The colourful character takes children on a series of adventures where they learn more about their 'super organ' kidneys and how to keep them healthy — all in an interactive and entertaining way.
Education about the risks of obesity and awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle can dramatically help in preventing obesity and kidney disease. This can all begin when children join The Kidney Kid through an activity book and an animated video where the superhero chooses fruit and veggies instead of fast foods, water instead of sugary drinks, says no to smoking cigarettes, and enjoys staying active with friends.
‘As chronic kidney disease statistics peak around the world, prevention is more important than ever and should start with the youngest in society — our children’, said Harry de Wit, President and CEO of Fresenius Medical Care Asia-Pacific Limited. ‘As a leading global healthcare company, Fresenius Medical Care will continue to utilize its experience and expertise to raise awareness of good kidney health as part of the company’s lifelong commitment to local communities’, Harry de Wit added.
To celebrate World Kidney Day, The Kidney Kid interactive programs will be held by Fresenius Medical Care employees throughout Asia and the Pacific region. The program will engage thousands of children, parents and carers, helping to raise awareness of our 'super organs' and the vital role they play in our health.
Do you know if your kidneys are healthy?
World Kidney Day is the ideal occasion for everyone to be reminded of the organisation’s 8 Golden Rules4 to reduce the risk of developing CKD:
- Keep fit and active to help keep blood pressure and weight in a healthy range.
- Keep regular control of your blood sugar level. About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage — so it is important to control your blood sugar.
- Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney damage, so make sure you know your number (120 /80 is considered the normal blood pressure level).
- Eat healthily [Eat healthy food] and keep your weight in check to help prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with CKD.
- Maintain a healthy fluids intake [intake of fluids] by drinking enough water every day to help your kidneys clear waste from the body.
- Do not smoke. Smoking slows down the flow of blood to your kidneys and increases the risk of kidney cancer.
- Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis. Some common medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, might cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.
- Get your kidney function checked if:
- you have diabetes
- you have high blood pressure
- you are obese
- one of your parents or other family members has kidney disease
- you are of African, Hispanic, Asian, or Aboriginal origin — people from these cultural backgrounds have an increased risk of developing CKD.
References: 1 World Health Organization Media Centre, Obesity and overweight fact sheet, updated June 2016. Available from www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/ 2 www.worldkidneyday.org/2017-campaign/2017-wkd-theme/ 3 Obesity, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis 7:75-88, February 2014 4 www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/take-care-of-your-kidneys/8-golden-rules; accessed on February, 20th, 2017 Disclaimer: Contents in this [Article] are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical or health advice, examination, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments.
Disclaimer: Contents in this [Article] are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical or health advice, examination, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments.