Improving food products central to fighting kidney disease

Written by Annie Schreijer-Pierik on 11 March 2016 in Opinion

Many children are at risk of chronic kidney disease, warns Annie Schreijer-Pierik.

March 10 is World Kidney Day (WKD), and this year's theme is 'kidney disease and children: act early to prevent it'.

WKD is dedicated to informing parents, caregivers, patients and the general public on the importance of identifying and treating kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major and growing health burden in Europe. Many, and many children could be at risk from the disease at an early age.


To combat the increase of preventable kidney damage, policymakers and the risk of cardiovascular disease and CKD. People already suffering from CKD are particularly sensitive to excessive salt intake.

Renal function declines quicker, meaning that they will require transplantation or dialysis sooner than with moderate salt intakes. Health authorities must improve education, early detection and a healthy lifestyle in children.

When it comes to improving lifestyle, the healthiest choice must also be the easiest one. Too much salt increases blood pressure and consequently

In order to protect children, adults and CKD patients, food products must be urgently reformulated.

Many policymakers agree, including Dutch health minister Edith Schippers. She has placed food reformulation - reducing of salt, sugar and saturated fats in processed foods - on the 2016 EU agenda.

Steps have already been taken at local and national level, but what will make the difference is an EU level playing field.

Food production is a cross-border issue. The roadmap for action on food product improvement should lead to healthier foods in the EU.


About the author

Annie Schreijer-Pierik (EPP, NL) is a member of Parliament's informal MEP group for kidney health

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