Amy Goss, Ph.D., R.D.

A new study from researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Nutrition Sciences suggests consumption of a moderately carbohydrate-restricted diet may result in decreased fatty liver tissue, as well as improvements in body composition and insulin resistance, in adolescents with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

NAFLD has emerged as the most common form of liver disease among adolescents in industrialized countries, according to the study, reaching 40 percent in children with obesity. For children and adolescents ages 2 to 19, the prevalence of obesity has reached 17 percent and affects nearly 13 million children in the United States.

Lead author Amy Goss, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition sciences, says understanding the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions as long-term solutions in treating this condition in child and adolescent populations is critical.

“For many children, NAFLD ends up progressing, and by the time they are adults, they may have other health complications or may even need a transplant,” Goss said. “There have been other studies done that focus more on removing added sugars; but to our knowledge, this is the first study to test the effectiveness of overall diet quality.”

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