To Your Health
February, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 02)
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Obesity Is Bad for Your Kidneys

By Editorial Staff

It's always good to stay at a healthy weight for physical (and emotional) health reasons, but putting on too much weight (obesity) can put you in real danger, elevating your risk for a variety of issues including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and cancer. Your kidneys aren't safe when you're obese, either, regardless of whether you're suffering from kidney disease or not.

Case in point: research published in the British Medical Journal that determined the odds of kidney function decline in people at various weights and degrees of obesity. Data on weight and kidney function was collected over five decades and involving nearly 5.5 million adults from 40 countries. Researchers tracked individuals for eight years, on average, with baseline determinations of weight and periodic analysis of kidney function.

kidneys - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Using body-mass index (BMI) as their basis for determining degree of overweight / obesity, researchers discovered that compared to overweight adults, the most severely obese were twice as likely to develop impaired kidney function. But even less-obese adults had a higher risk of impaired function compared to overweight adults: 18-69 percent higher, depending on weight.

Researchers are quick to point out that obesity itself may not be the cause of impaired kidney function, but rather some of the risk factors that lead to obesity, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, etc. However, that just means obesity could be the symptom, not the cause. Preventing obesity with proper diet, regular exercise and other lifestyle choices is the win-win for your kidneys and every other organ in your body.