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Salt and Sugar-Rich Diets Linked to Kidney Diseases in Kids

Salt and Sugar-Rich Diets Linked to Kidney Diseases in Kids

The prevalence of kidney disease in children is on the rise, driven by unhealthy lifestyle choices, including diets high in salt and sugar.

World Kidney Day is observed annually on March 14 to raise awareness about the various risks to the kidneys as well as to improve access to treatment. The theme this year is Kidney Health for All – Advancing Equitable Access to Care and Optimal Medication Practice.

Key lifestyle factors like intake of unhealthy fast foods, lack of exercise have been major factors for the development of kidney diseases. These factors also lead to other diseases like hypertension and diabetes, which increases harm to kidneys.

Lifestyle Factors Fueling Rise in Childhood Kidney Disease

“There is data suggesting an increase in childhood kidney disease. This rise is partly linked to lifestyle factors like processed food intake, hidden salt and sugar, and a lack of physical activity. These habits contribute to poor overall health, including a rise in diabetes and obesity, both of which can damage the kidneys,” Poonam Sidana, Director – Neonatology & Paediatrics at the CK Birla Hospital, Delhi, told IANS.

She noted that smoking and alcohol also raises risk of kidney diseases. Akhila Vasanth Hassan, Pediatric Nephrologist at Narayana Health City, Bangalore told IANS that the incidence of stones in children has globally increased.

She noted that malnutrition and water deprivation may also contribute to the increase in kidney stones.

Further, CKD, often thought of as an adult disease can also affect infants and children under five. It is a severe condition where the kidneys gradually lose function over time.

“Around 60 percent of childhood CKD stems from structural abnormalities sometimes identified during the antenatal ultrasounds of the mother. In such cases, it is crucial to conduct ultrasounds within the first week of birth of the baby for timely detection and treatment,” Madhura Fadnis Kharadkar, Consultant Pediatric Nephrologist at Surya Mother and Child Super Speciality Hospital Pune, told IANS.


The doctors called for maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, proper hydration, increased fruit, and vegetable intake and importantly reducing intake of processed foods high in salt and sugar, for good kidneys and overall health.


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