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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and childhood obesity
  1. Meera Shaunak1,
  2. Christopher D Byrne2,3,
  3. Nikki Davis1,2,
  4. Paul Afolabi2,3,
  5. Saul N Faust2,3,4,
  6. Justin Huw Davies1,2
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  2. 2 Faculty of Medicine and Institute for Life Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  3. 3 NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  4. 4 NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Justin Huw Davies, Paediatric Endocrinology, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; justin.davies{at}


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in children and adolescents has an estimated prevalence of 36.1% in the context of obesity. This figure is anticipated to increase in conjunction with the global obesity epidemic. Worryingly, NAFLD in childhood persisting into adulthood is likely to be harmful, contributing to significant hepatic and extrahepatic morbidities. Early disease detection is required, although the optimum timing, frequency and mode of screening remains undetermined. While the efficacy of several medications, antioxidants, fatty acid supplements and probiotics has been investigated in children, healthy eating and physical activity remain the only prevention and treatment strategies for paediatric NAFLD. This short review discusses the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathogenesis and management of NAFLD in childhood obesity.

  • endocrinology
  • epidemiology
  • obesity

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  • Correction notice This paper has been updated since it was published online. The manuscript title has been changed from ‘Non-alcoholic liver disease and childhood obesity’ to ‘Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and childhood obesity’.

  • Contributors MS drafted the initial manuscript and revised the manuscript. CDB, SNF, ND, JHD and PA reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available. Not applicable.

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