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Review of paediatric obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – a focus on emerging non-pharmacologic treatment strategies

Title: Review of paediatric obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – a focus on emerging non-pharmacologic treatment strategies  

Source: Pediatric Obesity 2023, August 21. [Epublication]

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Date of publication: August 2023

Publication type: Review article

Abstract: Obesity in paediatrics has become one of the most serious public health concerns worldwide. Paediatric obesity leads to increased adult obesity and is associated with several comorbidities, both physical and psychological. Within gastroenterology, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common cause of paediatric liver disease and the most common cause of liver transplantation in young adults. Treatment for NAFLD largely focuses on treatment of obesity with weight loss strategies. Unfortunately, the traditional method of weight loss using multicomponent lifestyle modification (dietary changes, increased exercise and behavioural modification) has often led to disappointing results. In adult patients with obesity, treatment strategies have evolved to include bariatric surgery and, more recently, bariatric endoscopy. In paediatrics, the obesity and NAFLD epidemics will likely require this variety of treatment to address children in a personalized manner. Here, we present a review of paediatric obesity, paediatric NAFLD and the various treatment strategies to date. We focus on non-pharmacologic and emerging therapies, including bariatric surgery and bariatric endoscopy-based treatments. With such a large population of children and adolescents with obesity, further development of these treatments, including paediatric-focused clinical trials, is essential for these emerging modalities.  

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