Experts Observe Rising number of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases among Youngsters

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Pune, 22nd April 2024: There has been a concerning uptick in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in youngsters, especially among women between the age group of (20-40) with a 15% rise over the past decade. Once considered a condition primarily affecting adults with a history of alcohol abuse, NAFLD is now emerging as a significant health issue among the youth. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, often called NAFLD, is a liver problem that affects people who drink little to no alcohol. In NAFLD, too much fat builds up in the liver. It is seen most often in people who are overweight or obese.

Several reasons contribute to NAFLD including a sedentary lifestyle, smoking drinking, consuming junk food and weight mismanagement. If obesity is not addressed at the earliest stage it might lead to Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and end-stage liver disease that can be fatal says Dr. Irshad Ali H, Consultant Gastroenterologist, SPARSH Hospital, Bangalore.

To minimize the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), certain precautions are to be considered:

Youngsters today are often exposed to diets rich in processed foods, and high in sugars, and saturated fats. These dietary habits contribute significantly to the accumulation of fat in the liver. Hence, prioritize a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to reduce the risk of NAFLD.

Sedentary lifestyles, coupled with a decrease in physical activity, are prevalent among the younger generation Incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days to stay physically active and support liver function.

Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise, as even modest weight loss can significantly benefit liver health.

Avoid sugary beverages and alcohol consumption, manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure and schedule regular medical check-ups for early detection and management of any underlying health issues associated with NAFLD.

The rising prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease among youngsters is a serious health concern that demands immediate attention. By addressing lifestyle factors, and promoting awareness, ensure a healthier future for our youth says Dr. Irshad.