Dr. Jandial and the Increase in Fatty Liver disease in Obese Children

Despite major gains in fighting hepatitis C and other chronic liver conditions, public health officials are now faced with a growing epidemic of liver disease that is tightly linked to the obesity crisis.In the past two decades, the prevalence of the disease, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver, has more than doubled in teenagers and adolescents, and climbed at a similar rate in adults. Studies based on federal surveys and diagnostic testing have found that it occurs in about 10 percent of children and at least 20 percent of adults in the United States, eclipsing the rate of any other chronic liver condition. There are no drugs approved to treat the disease, and it is quickly becoming a leading cause of liver transplants around the country.Doctors say that the disease, which causes the liver to swell with fat, is particularly striking because it is nearly identical to the liver damage that is seen in heavy drinkers. But in this case the damage is done not by alcohol, but by poor diet and excess weight.

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