A study shows that 10% of children in the U.S. are afflicted with a liver disease that’s mostly associated with alcoholism.
The Wall Street Journal reports that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is growing at a rapid rate especially among obese children. The disease is usually associated with alcoholism and it bloats and discolors the liver without showing any apparent symptoms.
The illness can progress into nonalcoholicsteatohepatitis (NASH) where it inflames and damages cells. NASH can eventually lead to cirrhosis where the liver stops working altogether and the disease can no longer be treated.
There is a link between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and obesity since 40% of obese children have it, but the disease is also apparent in children who are not obese. We still don’t know everything about the disease but the study shows that it can worsen due to environmental factors, genetic predisposition, obesity and a diet with a lot of fructose.