World Liver Day: The Impact of Fatty Liver Disease on Children


Consuming sugary and junk foods, along with leading a sedentary lifestyle due to increased screen time, are contributing factors to this issue. As today marks World Liver Day, it’s important to take a moment to recognize the significance of liver health. Serving as a vital organ in the body, the liver plays a crucial role in eliminating waste and toxins, as well as breaking down food into energy. However, the prevalence of fatty liver disease is escalating, affecting not only adults but also children.

Addressing the rising cases of fatty liver among children, Dr. Amit Miglani, Director & HOD – Gastroenterology at Asian Hospital, confirms, “Indeed, there has been a noticeable surge in cases of fatty liver among children. Previously, the prevalence of obesity and fatty liver in children was approximately five to six percent. However, recent data indicate a significant increase, with a substantial portion of overweight and obese children being affected. Currently, around 60 to 70 percent of children with obesity or overweight issues are diagnosed with fatty liver.”

Identifying the underlying causes, he explains, “The escalating prevalence of fatty liver in children can be attributed primarily to unhealthy dietary habits.”

He further elaborates, “Foremost among these is the consumption of high-sugar products such as chocolates, candies, and the frequent intake of fast food items like pizza and burgers. Additionally, the consumption of fruit juices lacking real fruit content contributes to heightened sugar levels in the bloodstream, consequently promoting fat accumulation in the liver. The second contributing factor is the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, exacerbated by increased screen time and extensive use of mobile devices among children. Lastly, while genetics may also play a role in childhood obesity and fatty liver, its impact is often overshadowed by dietary and lifestyle factors.”

Parents must adopt a proactive approach in mitigating the risk of fatty liver in children, with an emphasis on promoting a healthy diet. This entails restricting sugar consumption from candies and beverages, as well as discouraging the consumption of junk food, which is rich in both fat and calories, thereby exacerbating the accumulation of fat in the liver.

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