Far West LHD to help locals tackle obesity this Kidney Health Week

The Far West Local Health District will be shining a spotlight on the link between Australia’s obesity epidemic and chronic conditions, including kidney disease, during Kidney Health Week (5–11 March 2017).

“We’re getting involved in this year’s Kidney Health Week to let everyone in Broken Hill know how their weight can significantly affect their kidney health, and the importance of having a regular kidney check-up with your GP, either to prevent kidney disease, or to delay the progress of the disease,” said Far West LHD FWLHD Dietitian, Heidi Drenkhahn.

Currently 1.7 million Australians have indicators of chronic kidney disease, yet 90% don’t know that they have the condition. Kidney Health Australia CEO, Mikaela Stafrace, said obesity was a potent risk factor for the development of kidney disease. “The kidneys filter waste from the blood and keep your body clean and free of toxins, they are the most vital filtering system in your body and like any filtering system, what goes into it matters,” she said. “Prevention and early detection is critical, and I encourage all Australians – particularly those at increased risk – to speak to their GP or pharmacist about checking the health of their kidneys before it’s too late.”

The Kidney Health Australia’s national awareness week will for the first time also align with World Kidney Day (9 March) and the Far West LHD will be offering everyone a kidney health check-up to raise awareness of this important health issue.

A Kidney Health check-up stall will be held in the Broken Hill Hospital foyer on Wednesday, 8 March from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

“We want all community members to come along to have their blood pressure, blood sugars and waist circumference check to look at their kidney disease risk factors,” said Ms Drenkhahn. “There will be plenty of information and assistance available for those concerned about the health of their kidneys.”

Kidney Health Australia, formally the Australian Kidney Foundation, is a national health care charity with a vision ‘to save and improve the lives of Australians affected by kidney disease’. As the national peak body, Kidney Health Australia promotes good kidney health through delivery of programs in education, advocacy, research and support.

For more information on kidney disease and obesity, visit www.kidney.org.au or find Kidney Health Australia on social media.

FAST FACTS: Obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease

You can lose up to 90% of kidney function before experiencing any symptoms

  • 63% (or 2 in 3) Australian adults are overweight or obese
  • Overweight people increase their risk of developing kidney disease by 1.5 times
  • Obese people double their risk of developing kidney disease
  • One third of kidney disease cases potentially relate to being overweight or obese
  • Obesity puts a strain on the kidneys as they have to work harder to get rid of toxins—over time this can damage the kidneys’ filters and cause kidney disease
  • Obesity also worsens other key kidney disease risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension


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