Children, Added Sugar and Liver Disease

by | Apr 5, 2021 | Nutrition

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Ten percent of children in the United States are now afflicted by a common chronic liver disease in this age group which can eventually lead to serious illness, a need for a liver transplant or death.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)—so called  to differentiate it from liver disease caused by heavy alcohol use—was once a disease almost exclusively of adults, but a new literature review by scientists at Arizona State University reveals that it has become a growing problem among children throughout the world.

“Like type 2 diabetes, NAFLD used to be considered a disease that developed only in adulthood, but that is no longer true,” said lead author Johanna DiStefano, Ph.D.

Ten percent of children in the United States are now afflicted by NAFLD. It is the most common chronic liver disease in this age group and can eventually lead to serious illness, a need for a liver transplant or death.

How could this happen? Lack of exercise is a factor, but so is excessive consumption of sugar. The researchers believe that reducing sugar consumption in youth is an important strategy for reducing the occurrence of NAFLD at all ages.

Added sugars, which contain no nutrients, are the biggest target for reduction. These include sugar added to food during processing, syrups, sweeteners and sugars in concentrated juice. Sugary sodas marketed to children have become targets for taxation, with the hope that added costs might reduce their consumption.

This site has free eBooks for download and inexpensive self-paced classes that can help you understand the basics of the body’s energy production system.

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

Fundamentals of Health Alliance

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The Fundamentals of Health Alliance works to publish useful and reliable information about nutrition and health. Their mission is to empower readers to be informed with honest, non-biased information about food, nutrition and the vital components of health.

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