Until the 1990s, no one knew that fatty livers were a problem in children, and now, doctors say, the situation has become serious. A study published in the journal Pediatrics in October 2006 that found evidence that nearly 10% of children between 2 and 19 years old in San Diego County have fatty livers. If that percentage holds throughout the U.S., 6.5 million children are affected.
The data show that fatty livers in children are highly correlated with weight. About 80% of kids with the condition are obese or overweight. Nearly 40% of obese children have fatty livers. Most of them have diabetes or are insulin resistant.
To date, biopsies are the only effective diagnostic test for fatty livers. Diet and exercise are the only effective treatments. And it's a mystery why the condition can be harmless for many, yet dangerous for others.
Courtesy LA Times
Steve - it is not a mystery why some obese children get fatty livers faster than others. It has to do with how their genes are expressed. Regardless of obesity, those children with more of a genetic risk for insulin resistance will develop a fatty liver faster than those will less of a genetic risk.
This emerging trend is a direct indictment on the SAD (Standard American Diet). Excess carbohydrate consumption, especially those with high glycemic index and load, are directly to blame. Processed foods and lack of balanced meals are also major reasons for fatty livers.