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More about weight and liver disease

This information is intended for overweight or obese individuals who may be at risk of liver disease.


  • Obesity is strongly associated with fatty liver, one of the most common forms of liver disease.
  • This non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is seen when fatty deposits build up on the liver.
  • This can lead, in some individuals, to inflammation of the liver and long-term damage.

Who is affected?

  • 1 in 5 people in the UK are thought to have early stage NAFLD.
  • NAFLD is more common in men and those over 50 years of age.
  • An increasing number of children are developing fatty liver disease associated with obesity.

But not everyone with fatty liver disease is overweight and being overweight or obese does not necessarily lead to a fatty liver.

What can we do to reduce NAFLD?

  • Make sustainable, long-term changes to lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight (see 3 step plan).
  • Exercise significantly reduces liver fat therefore keeping active is key alongside healthy eating (how to become more active).
  • A weight loss of 3-10% (if overweight or obese) achieved via these lifestyle changes can lead to improved liver health (set a target weight).
  • A healthy lifestyle will also help with treatment of any associated conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure (always seek the advice of your G.P. for medical conditions).


For more information on NAFLD, please see the British Liver Trust website


References: Please contact Weight Concern if you would like to find out about our information sources.


Issue date: June 2012

Review date: December 2014


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