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.
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