Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Management: Dietary and Lifestyle Modifications

Semin Liver Dis. 2015 Aug;35(3):318-37. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1562950. Epub 2015 Sep 17.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a spectrum of abnormalities that can range from bland liver fat (steatosis), to hepatic inflammation and liver injury (steatohepatitis). It is estimated that NAFLD will become the principal cause of liver disease in Western nations and the leading indication for liver transplantation. Advancements in disease recognition and management are therefore paramount. Although the development of new, reliable drug therapies is vital, lifestyle interventions remain the most effective treatment modality. In addition to weight loss as a primary measure of treatment success, there is growing recognition that other endpoints, including the prevention or delay of diabetes onset, reduced cardiovascular events, prevention of cancer, and improved overall mortality, are equally important outcomes that can be independently modified by lifestyle change. Moreover, NAFLD is inextricably part of a complex, systemic disease process that is linked with deeply entrenched maladaptive lifestyle behaviors. Thus, a holistic, multidisciplinary, and individualized approach to disease management will be the key to achieving any realistic population-level change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Disease Progression
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diagnosis
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / epidemiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / psychology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / therapy*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss