Effect of a Six-Month Lifestyle Intervention on the Physical Activity and Fitness Status of Adults with NAFLD and Metabolic Syndrome

Nutrients. 2022 Apr 26;14(9):1813. doi: 10.3390/nu14091813.


(1) Background: Physical inactivity has been linked to NAFLD, and exercise has been reported as useful to reduce intrahepatic fat content in NAFLD. (2) Objectives: To assess the physical activity (PA) and fitness status after a six-month lifestyle intervention (diet and PA) in adults with NAFLD and metabolic syndrome (MetS). (3) Design: Prospective cohort analysis of data obtained between baseline and six-year parallel-group randomized trial (n = 155, aged 40-60 years old, with MetS and NAFLD). Participants were randomized into three nutritional and PA intervention groups: Conventional diet (CD); MedDiet-high meal frequency (MD-HMF); MedDiet-physical activity (MD-PA). (4) Methods: PA and fitness status were assessed using a validated Minnesota questionnaire, ALPHA-FIT test battery, accelerometers, and functional fitness score. Information related to age, gender, education level, marital status, socioeconomic status, smoking habit, and alcohol consumption were also obtained. (5) Results: The CD group had higher improvement in standing handgrip than the MD-HMF group. The MD-PA group did more modified push-up repetitions than the CD group. The MD-PA and CD groups showed higher sitting handgrip than the MD-HMF group. The MD-HMF group showed the highest decrease in aerobic capacity. The MD-PA group showed lower light intensity PA/day than the CD and MD-HMF groups. The MD-PA group showed higher moderate intensity PA than the CD and MD-HMF groups. The CD group reported more METs per day than the MD-HMF group. (6) Conclusions: Lifestyle six-month intervention with diet and regular PA improved functional fitness in middle-aged patients with NAFLD and MetS. Aerobic capacity improved in patients who followed a Mediterranean diet and regular training sessions at six months.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; fitness; metabolic syndrome; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / therapy
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prospective Studies