1 Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.
2 Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing in prevalence in concert with the global epidemic of obesity and is being diagnosed at increasingly younger ages. The unique histologic features and early presentation of disease in pediatrics suggest that children and adults may differ with regard to etiopathogenesis, with children displaying a greater vulnerability to genetic and environmental factors. Of significant relevance to pediatrics, in utero and perinatal stressors may alter the lifelong health trajectory of a child, increasing the risk of NAFLD and other cardiometabolic diseases. The development and progression of disease in childhood is likely to carry increased risk of long-term morbidity. Novel biomarkers and therapeutic agents are needed to avoid the otherwise inevitable health and societal consequences of this rapidly expanding pediatric population.