Public urged to lead healthy lifestyle to prevent obesity, kidney disease

MANILA-- A kidney that fails does not regenerate.

The warning came from Dr. Victor Doctor, president of the Philippine Society of Nephrology (PSN), as he and PSN board member, Dr. Ronald Perez, encouraged the public to help raise public awareness on the link between obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), during a health forum held at Annabel's Restaurant in Tomas Morato Ave. Tuesday.

The forum marks the celebration of World Kidney Day on March 9, which is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and International Federation of Kidney Foundations, in cooperation with PSN, under the Philippine College of Physicians.

According to the two doctors, obesity, which often starts during early childhood, leads to 'hyperfiltration' or the overworking of the kidneys. Obesity is the result of taking more food or calories that are more than needed for physical activities and growth. With obese bodies, kidneys tend to overwork in an effort to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body weight, resulting in premature kidney aging.

Dr. Doctor pointed out that diabetes and hypertension are also risk factors of Chronic Kidney Disease. He explained that these non-communicable diseases start during early childhood but go undocumented until adulthood because the child doesn't show symptoms.

"Early on in the life of an individual, the kidneys are already subjected to stress, and wear and tear. This does not show until you are at early adulthood. More so, chronic kidney disease occurs, manifests during adulthood," he said.

Increased food intake, too much sugar, salt, fat or proteins in food, as well as an inactive lifestyle are the primary culprits of obesity, which increases the risk of developing major risk factors of CKD, Doctor said.

The proliferation of different fast-food chains in the country, which leads to poor diet, as well as the advent of technology and gadgets resulting in inactive lifestyle among children nowadays are also to blame, said Dr. Perez.

Some 22.3 percent of Filipino adults are overweight and 6.1 percent are obese, according to a 2011 survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Institute (FNRI).

Perez reiterated that a patient who suffers CKD could only undergo hemodialysis, a procedure that mitigates a patient's condition but does not treat the disease.

Emphasizing that obesity and CKD are preventable, the health professionals urged the public, especially parents, to provide their children proper nutrition and encourage them to engage in physical activities.

"Health is not a sexy issue, it's not a media mileage, it's not sensational. But it's very important and like I said, the only time that you realize its importance is when it hits close to home. I hope it won't happen. As early as now, we should not wait for it to hit close to home. We have to do this as a nation in order that we have a healthy citizenry," Perez said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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