Effect of Weight Loss, Diet, Exercise, and Bariatric Surgery on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Clin Liver Dis. 2016 May;20(2):339-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2015.10.008. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. NAFLD is the most common liver disease in developed countries. Weight reduction of 3% to 5% is associated with improved steatosis; reductions of 5% to 7% are necessary for decreased inflammation; with 7% to 10%, individuals may experience NAFLD/NASH remission and regression of fibrosis. No specific dietary intervention has proven beneficial beyond calorie restriction. Physical activity without weight loss seems to decrease hepatic steatosis. Bariatric surgery is associated with decreased cardiovascular risk and improved overall mortality in addition to reduction in hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Diet; Exercise; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Fructose / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / physiopathology*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / therapy*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fructose