Healthy eating workplace wellness

Study: Nutrition Approach Lowers Blood Pressure, Reduces Risk of Kidney Disease

When most people talk about diets, they discuss the latest “lose weight fast” fad. We all know they rarely work and can often introduce unbalanced eating habits.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reports on a diet that is “designed to lower blood pressure also reduces risk of kidney disease.”

It’s not a “diet” in the common sense; it’s more a common sense approach to eating right. This is the type of insights that can come from dietitians, including those who are part of a well-run workplace wellness program.

The diet is called “DASH for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, [and] was designed to help reduce blood pressure, but research has shown it to be effective in preventing a series of other chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease.”

The study reports that “People who ate a diet high in nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and low in red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and sodium were at a significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease over the course of more than two decades.”

Said study leader Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MPH, MS, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School: “In addition to offering other health benefits, consuming a DASH-style diet could help reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. The great thing about this finding is that we aren’t talking about a fad diet. This is something that many physicians already recommend to help prevent chronic disease.”

We recently reported how a dietitian can help your workplace wellness program — and help reduce overall health care costs:

According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity remains a serious health epidemic in the U.S., with more than one third (78.6 million) of adults medically defined as such. If untreated, obesity can lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Consequently, obesity can exact a high toll on health care costs. “Currently, estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year,” said The State of Obesity, an annual report sponsored by both the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “In addition, obesity is associated with job absenteeism, costing approximately $4.3 billion annually and with lower productivity while at work, costing employers $506 per obese worker per year.”