The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Exercise and Weight Loss Reduces Kidney Disease and Death

We recently found a cure for "irony deficiency disease." My near-7 foot tall husband and I were walking to a Vidocq forensic society meeting. A bake sale was set up in the building lobby - junk food, refined junk pastries, pies with artificial colorings. The sign stated "Bake Sale for Kidney Disease." I asked which items caused the most kidney disease. I was sure it was a staged joke for a commercial on nutrition awareness. The sellers were disappointed with me. Apparently, it was a real bake sale. "Bake Sale for Kidney Disease" is true, both for them and their kidneys.

Research reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology of pooled data from 13 studies showed found, in obese adults with kidney disease, losing weight through diet and exercise prevented additional decline in kidney function and reduced proteinuria, which is excess excretion of protein in the urine, a major characteristic of kidney damage.

Regular exercise of the recommended amount cuts risk of death in patients with chronic kidney disease by 56%, according to an analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. People who exercised, but less than recommended levels were still 42% less likely to die during follow-up than sedentary people.

1. Weight Loss Interventions in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sankar D et al. Clin. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol., September 17, 2009 as doi:
2. Physical Activity and Mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease (NHANES III). Beddhu S, et al. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2009; DOI: 10.2215/CJN.01970309. doi:10.2215/CJN.02250409.

Obesity is a major factor in kidney disease. A large percentage of the United States adults and children are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of kidney ailments, plus diabetes and high blood pressure, which in turn affect kidney function. More than 20 million Americans already have chronic kidney disease, with the number and severity growing.

Researchers of the Systematic Review and Meta-analysis stated,

"The health care costs that are associated with this increase are staggering. In obese adults, weight loss may offer real benefits in terms of the kidneys, in addition to the heart-related benefits of shedding excess pounds."

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.