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  1. kidney balance

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive disease in which kidney function is lost over a period of years. It has a number of consequences including cardiovascular diseases, osteodystrophy, pericarditis and anaemia. It is most commonly caused by diabetes or untreated high blood pressure, but can also arise due to inflammatory disorders. The progression of CKD is classified as stages 1-5, with stage 1 representing the very early phase with mild impairment of glomerular filtration rate, and stage 5 representing full renal failure.

  2. The rising prevalence of obesity and the impact of excessive body fatness on risk of Type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers are well-documented and are rightly a focus for public health interventions. With obesity rates increasing in adults and children, all developed countries are reporting high levels of obesity among women of childbearing age. This has important consequences for maternal and foetal health during pregnancy and potentially for the longer-term health of the children of obese women.

  3. Over the last two decades there have been many claims that what children eat has a major impact upon their performance at school, with many studies claiming that breakfast, in particular, is a strong contributor to concentration and learning during the school day. There is also a well-recognised phenomenon called the ‘post-prandial dip’, which is a drop off in physical and cognitive performance following a lunchtime meal.

  4. food heartThe positive relationship between consumption of fruit and vegetables and human health is very well established. Increasing intake of vegetables, in particular, reduces the risk of many types of cancer, partly through displacement of cancer-risk factors (e.g. meat) and maintenance of healthy weight, but also through the delivery of anti-cancer agents such as the isothiocyanates that I discussed in my Christmas blog about sprouts. In the light of these positive effects, the World Health Organization has set a minimum daily target of 400g of fruit and vegetables in the diet for all countries. In the UK, this has become the driver for the ‘5-a-day’ public health message. This sets the goal of consuming five 80g portions of fruit or vegetables, which can be in raw form, cooked from fresh, frozen or canned, and eaten either on their own, or as elements of more complex composite foods which use them as ingredients.