Health and Fitness

Kidney Disease & Obesity

09th Mar 2017

Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. In 2014, worldwide over 600 million adults were obese*.

In the general population, obesity increases the risk of death and contributes to many other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, fatty liver, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, various cancers, mental disorders, and poor quality of life.

How Obesity affects the kidney?

belleyimageObesity is a potent risk factor for the development of kidney disease. It increases the risk of developing major risk factors of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), like diabetes and hypertension, and it has a direct impact on the development of CKD and end stage renal disease (ESRD). People who are overweight or obese have 2 to 7 more chances of developing ESRD compared to those of normal weight*.

In individuals affected by obesity, the kidneys have to work harder, filtering more blood than normal (hyperfiltration) to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body weight. The increase in function can damage the kidney and raise the risk of developing CKD in the long-term.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious condition that develops suddenly, often lasts a short time and may disappear completely once the underlying cause has been treated, but it can also have long-lasting consequences with life-long problems. AKI occurs more frequently in obese people. Reducing obesity may reverse or slow CKD progression.

The Global Challenge

Global population is affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Globally, 2.6 million patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) received dialysis in 2010. This number is projected to almost double to 5.4 million by 2030*.
  • 600 million people in the world are affected by obesity, 220 million* of which are school aged children.
  • Individuals affected by obesity have an 83%* increased risk of CKD, compared to individuals with a healthy weight.
  • In some nations, obesity is already present in more than one-third of the adult population and contributes significantly to overall poor health and high annual medical costs.
Worldwide “Obesity” forecast by 2025*
Men will be affected
Women will be affected
Worldwide “Severe Obesity” forecast by 2025*
Men will be affected
Women will be affected

How Prevalent is Obesity in Fiji?

The latest results from the 2011 STEPs Survey found that since 2002 Obesity has risen by 8.5% with 32.1% of Fijian adults now classified as obese. We’re also getting wider around the middle as our average waist circumference has rise by 4cm in males and 5.2cm in females. Unfortunately this problem seems to be female orientated (although we’re sure husbands are playing a role too!). The premature death caused by Chronic Kidney Disease in Fiji during the year 2015 is 1,801*.

Top 10 causes of death by rate in 2015 and % change, 2005-2015 in Fiji.*

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the 4th most concerned health problem in FIJI causing more number of deaths with an increase by 34%* from 2005 to 2015.*
Warning signals to look out for!!!
  • Swelling, puffiness of face/ Swelling of legs
  • Blood stained or cola coloured urine
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Pain in the renal angle-back
  • Frequent urination/Nocturnal frequency
  • Loss of appetite/Breathlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Anaemia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Kidney transplant issues

World Kidney Day – MARCH 2017


This year World Kidney Day (March 2017) promotes education and awareness about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating people to include proper nutrition and exercise and taking healthily measures which can dramatically help in preventing obesity and kidney disease.

“Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys”

Healthy kidney

Obesity is a major cause of Kidney failure says Specialists

Dr. N. K. Ganesh Prasad, Senior Consultant Nephrologist and Medical Director, MIOT Pacific Hospitals and Dr. Karthik Maruthachalam, renowned Surgical Gastroenterologist, Bariatric and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon from MIOT International discuss the alarming facts on how obesity becomes a major factor for kidney failure (Source FBC 7pm News march 9th 2017).

Dr. Karthik Maruthachalam emphasis that Fijians need to reduce obesity because it’s a major cause of Kidney failure around the country – See more at FBS News,