Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Obesity: A Hostile Takeover of Liver Disease

Liver disease is being taken over by obesity. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is now the third most common reason for liver transplantation and it’s on track to be the leading cause soon.

The chief of liver transplantation at UCLA, Ronald Busuttil, recently told the New York Times:

I’m really afraid that the explosion of this condition is going to overrun the resources available to the transplant centers around the country,” Dr. Busuttil said. “In the United States right now, we do about six to seven thousand liver transplants a year. Can you imagine if we have millions of people on the list? It’s unfathomable.

Jean Welsh and Karen Vos recently documented a rise in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that is growing even faster than childhood obesity. Together with research on the effects of sugar consumption on children with fatty liver disease, this leads Vos and others to suggest that diet quality, as well as obesity, may be contributing to the worrisome trend.

The seriousness of these trends adds to the imperative for better treatment options in severe obesity.

Click here to read more in the New York Times, here to read the study of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and transplantation, and here to read the study of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children. Click here to read more from ConscienHealth.

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, photograph © Nephron / flickr

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2 Responses to “Obesity: A Hostile Takeover of Liver Disease”

  1. June 17, 2014 at 6:27 am, Mary-Jo said:

    NAFLD, TD2, and childhood obesity are probably the biggest collateral devastating conditions that insidiously came about at the hands of our entrepreneurial spirit. Food, restaurant and beverage industries want to make profits. The ingenuity and creativity of these companies has been amazing in exploding onto our shelves and in our communities overwhelming opportunities to overeat. Sugar, convenience, and hi-cal junk sells….alot!. The IT revolution has,collaterally, made us even more inactive than ever. There’s, now, probably 2 generations, hard-wired, to become and sustain overweight/obese bodies with associated untoward effects. We have a tough, but not impossible, road ahead to counteract what’s happened.

    • June 17, 2014 at 8:13 am, Ted said:

      Well-said, Mary-Jo.