Obesity not only leads to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and psychological problems, but also to liver damage – and this at a young age. “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is now one of the leading liver diseases in children and adolescents. It is estimated that one third of overweight children are affected,” said Daniel Weghuber, head of the University Clinic for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in Salzburg.
Without lifestyle changes, there is “the risk that the liver will change so much over the course of about twenty years that it will no longer be able to recover,” said the Steyr native in a broadcast by the Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (ÖGKJ). In adults, fatty deposits in the liver (steatosis) can cause inflammation and scarring or tissue changes, and over time may require a liver transplant. A shriveled liver (cirrhosis) can lead to death.
“In children who are very overweight or overweight together with other risk factors, it can make sense to check the liver values in the blood from around the age of eight in order to detect the disease.” Special rehabilitation facilities are available for comprehensive care of children and adolescents with an unhealthy weight, he reported.
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