Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise are goals for many of us, but for people with chronic illnesses, a healthy lifestyle is critical to their well-being and survival. Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, today launched its Healthy Lifestyle initiative, aimed at helping people with chronic kidney disease live a better life on dialysis by becoming more physically active, eating healthy foods and enjoying more flexible lifestyles.

To help FMCNA drive the campaign, Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., star of Food Network’s "Big Daddy’s House," will be developing tasty, satisfying and new dialysis-friendly recipes throughout the year for people on dialysis. Those with kidney failure receive dialysis treatments typically every two to three days and follow a strict renal diet. Chef McCargo has a down-home approach to cooking, which means getting the whole family involved in preparing meals and sharing quality time together.

FMCNA and Chef McCargo will kick off the recipe series with a holiday dessert that the whole family can enjoy. "We want all dialysis patients to lead active lives. Staying physically fit and eating well are the best ways to achieve that goal and enjoy a better life on dialysis," said Carolyn Latham, vice president of Clinical Quality and UltraCare ® at FMCNA. "People with chronic kidney disease have to watch what they eat, but that doesn't mean they can't eat delicious foods. That’s why we're working with Chef McCargo to help them improve their quality of life."

Throughout 2012, Chef McCargo will also promote the FMCNA initiative with clinic visits and other events, as well as education sessions that inspire patients to maintain healthy diets.

"I have a real passion for cooking meals with big, bold flavors, and I'm looking forward to creating new and tasty recipes for people with restricted diets," said Chef McCargo. "I also hope to inspire people with chronic kidney disease to stay creative in the kitchen and excited about food because it can bring fun and joy to their lives, and to the lives of their families."

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