Thu, 31 May 2012

Phosphate Additives May Become a Public Health Issue

Last week, I was at a conference in Washington, DC where my fellow dietitian Melissa Atcheson and I presented a poster on the Kidney Community Kitchen (www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca). This was a great opportunity to share the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s exciting new website with our American colleagues. I was delighted to hear that many had already heard of the site (often from their patients)!

I need to take a moment to thank a very gifted graphic designer, Robin Parsons, who took our poster and turned it into a work of art! She did this on her own time and she definitely made us look good! Thanks Robin! Check out the poster we presented:


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Attending a conference is a great opportunity to keep up to date with the hot topics in nephrology and nutrition and of course, phosphate additives were the focus of several presentations. I’ve blogged about this many times in the past but what I found very exciting at the conference was that there seems to be a push to raise these concerns as a public health issue. We’ve known for some time that phosphates are bad for kidney patients but new studies are showing that these additives may pose a risk for everyone.

What I found very interesting (and I am sure it applies to the Canadian food supply) is that presenters reported that products that were acceptable last year now have phosphate additives. One presenter reported that half of all pork products available in the US had phosphate additives. This really emphasized to me how important it is to check your labels.

Over the past two years, we have had our dietetic interns do a survey of local grocery stores to find out just how common phosphate additives are in Canada. They surveyed major grocers and looked at over a thousand products! This past fall they presented their own poster on what they found. These results are very interesting and I thought I’d include their poster too! Take a look at what Jenna Cafferty and Cherie Wan saw in 3 national grocery stores in Southern Ontario. See how your grocery stores compare!
 


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