Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become one of the most common causes of liver disease worldwide and has grown proportionately with the rise in obesity. The prevalence of NAFLD is now thought to be around 20% to 40% of the entire population in industrialized Western countries. Insulin resistance, a product of obesity, is central to the pathogenesis of NAFLD, and is improved with weight loss, making this modality the primary goal of therapy. A combination of dietary modifications and increased physical activity, although hard to maintain, is thought to have significant long-term benefits, although further study is required to determine the best and most effective approaches to lifestyle modification. Alternatively, for those individuals who are unable to lose weight despite aggressive efforts, bariatric surgery, which has been shown rather convincingly to improve underlying fatty liver disease, may offer a solution. This review discusses dietary modification, exercise, weight loss pharmacotherapy, and surgical intervention as potential options for patients with NAFLD.
- Weight loss