Your kidneys are organs that play several important roles in your health. They help filter your blood, remove waste products, produce hormones, keep your bones strong, regulate fluid balance, and regulate your blood pressure. Prolonged high blood sugar levels may damage your blood vessels, including those in your kidneys. While diets high in sodium, sugar, and processed ingredients promote kidney disease, nine in 10 American kids go to a McDonald’s restaurant each month, and 80 percent of Americans dine in a fast-food restaurant at least once each month. In fact, roughly 50 million Americans consume fast food on any given day. The books chosen by The Informer for this supplement promote a greater understanding of how processed and fast-food consumption impact overall kidney health.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
The fast-food industry has become a staple of a fast-paced nation that wants foods quick, cheap and tasty. Fast food has hastened of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of chronic health conditions that attack vital organs — most notably, the kidneys. Eric Schlosser unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths — from the alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate.

Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., Robert Phillips

From the same authors who produced the bestselling books, Eat to Live and The End of Diabetes, comes this work Fast Food Genocide. An unflinching, provocative exploration of how our food is compromising the health of millions of Americans, the book explores how its low costs and convenience contribute to an unprecedented health crisis. The authors tackle fast food, in addition to toxic, human-engineered products found in every grocery store across America, like cold breakfast cereals; commercial and preserved (deli) meats and cheeses, sandwich breads and buns, chips, and fried foods. Fast foods have become the primary source of calories in the United States and consequently the most far-reaching and destructive influence on our population, making this book a must-read.

Hattie’s Journey: A Child’s Second Chance at Life After a Kidney Transplant by Felicia Williams-McGowan

Hattie’s Journey is a story of a little girl who loved school, cheerleading and all things fun, but finds herself feeling very ill one day. Hattie’s life changes when she finds that she has kidney failure. This story provides an intimate look at kidney disease from the perspective of a young child. While it is informative and caring in its presentation, it also offers encouragement to young readers. Ultimately, Hattie’s struggle with kidney failure highlights support, love, and encouragement from family.

The Kidney Donor’s Journey: 100 Questions I Asked Before Donating My Kidney, by Ari Sytner

After an unexpected year-long journey of exploring kidney donation, Ari Sytner became a kidney donor to save the life of a single mother of three children. The experience was so inspirational and transformative, that Sytner revealed the entire journey in this first-ever question-and-answer book, outlining the 100 questions he struggled with before deciding to proceed with his transplant and give the gift of life. The Kidney Donor’s Journey walks readers through each stage of Sytner’s process, from researching and telling his family, to testing, surgery, and recovery. The book inspires readers to weigh the personal and ethical values of kindness and human life, while sharing a moving and uplifting tale of one man’s journey to make a difference in the world.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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