Health Information Updates
NKDEP develops Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Initiative
An estimated 20 million Americans may have chronic kidney disease (CKD), putting them at increased risk for kidney failure. Though CKD can often be managed in the primary care setting and integrated into existing care for patients with diabetes and hypertension, CKD remains poorly managed. This is in part because clinicians, including general practice dietitians, feel inadequately educated. Surprisingly, less than 1 percent of physicians prescribe medical nutrition therapy from a general practice dietitian for people with diabetes or kidney disease, even though the therapy is covered by Medicare.
To improve outcomes for people with CKD, the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) developed the CKD Diet Initiative. The Initiative aims to provide simple, accessible professional and patient education materials to train general practice dietitians to counsel people with CKD and to facilitate referrals from primary care physicians for CKD medical nutrition therapy. Free, downloadable, and reproducible materials have been designed to provide key information about CKD and diet for registered dietitians and for the patients they counsel.
NKDEP has also developed training materials on the CKD diet for registered dietitians. The comprehensive, evidence-based online program, launched in November, has been adapted by the American Dietetic Association as an online Certificate of Training in CKD for registered dieticians. The program—which includes interactive activities, case studies, clear graphics, and assessments—incorporates NKDEP patient materials and advice on using them in clinical practice. Additional case studies will be available for educators of dietetics students. All materials developed are in the public domain and are available on the NKDEP web site, for use by all professionals who seek to improve care for patients with CKD.
For more information about medical nutrition therapy coverage visit the Medicare web site.
National Diabetes Month efforts focus on planning to prevent diabetes, complications
In observance of National Diabetes Month in November 2011, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)—an initiative of the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—urged people to set goals and make plans to prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications.
Making lifestyle changes—whether to manage or prevent diabetes—is not easy. Even if you know what to do to improve your health, figuring out how to do it and fitting it into your daily routine can be a big challenge. For example, you may know that being physically active can help you lose weight. But do you know how to become more active and keep it up over time?
The NDEP offers the following tips for making a plan and taking small, but important steps to help you reach your goal:
- Think about what is important to you and your health.
- What changes are you willing and able to make?
- Decide what steps will help you reach your health goals.
- Choose one goal to work on first. Start this week. Pick one change you can start to make immediately.
- Don’t give up. It’s common to run into some problems along the way. If things don’t go as planned, think about other ways to reach your goal.
The NDEP provides videos, tip sheets, and other educational materials to help people make a plan to prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications. For more information about the NDEP’s online library of behavior change resources visit the Diabetes HealthSense web site.