Rising obesity rates tip Australia towards kidney disease crisis

The growing national obesity crisis is set to lead to a significant increase in chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, a report by Kidney Health Australia has highlighted.

The report, Obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease: the Hidden Impact, was launched on Sunday to coincide with Kidney Health Week from March 5 to 11  and World Kidney Day on March 9.

The report documents skyrocketing obesity rates and highlights the link to above-average chronic kidney disease rates in many areas.

This comparison reveals in 16 Primary Health Network areas where obesity rates are above the national average of 63 per cent, most also have higher than average estimated rates of chronic kidney disease.  

Kidney Health Australia chief executive Mikaela Stafrace said it was very concerning. “In these health areas where obesity is above the national average … there is a risk that chronic kidney disease rates will also be above the national average.”

"There appears to be a strong correlation between obesity and chronic kidney disease rates in some areas, perhaps even higher in the NT, Western NSW and country South Australia, but we won’t know for certain until more data is captured.”

The report highlights the prevalence of obesity, and severe obesity, among adults is predicted to increase exponentially over the next decade.

 For more information and the report, visit kidney.org.au.