1Betty and Guy Beatty Center for Integrated Research, Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA, USA. Zobair.Younossi@inova.org.
2Center for Liver Disease, Department of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Falls Church, VA, USA. Zobair.Younossi@inova.org.
3Inova Medicine, Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA, USA. Zobair.Younossi@inova.org.
4School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.
5Betty and Guy Beatty Center for Integrated Research, Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA, USA.
6Inova Medicine, Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA, USA
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a dynamic chronic liver disease that develops in close association with metabolic irregularities. Between 2016 and 2019, the global prevalence among adults was reported as 38% and among children and adolescents it was about 10%. NAFLD can be progressive and is associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular disease, extrahepatic cancers and liver complications. Despite these numerous adverse outcomes, no pharmacological treatments currently exist to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, the progressive form of NAFLD. Therefore, the main treatment is the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle for both children and adults, which includes a diet rich in fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish and chicken and avoiding overconsumption of ultra-processed food, red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and foods cooked at high heat. Physical activity at a level where one can talk but not sing is also recommended, including leisure-time activities and structured exercise. Avoidance of smoking and alcohol is also recommended. Policy-makers, community and school leaders need to work together to make their environments healthy by developing walkable and safe spaces with food stores stocked with culturally appropriate and healthy food items at affordable prices as well as providing age-appropriate and safe play areas in both schools and neighbourhoods.