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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Heavy Teens Face Liver Disease


I read a disturbing article in USA Today the other day about teenagers who are overweight who have such severe liver damage that they may require liver transplants. It is estimated that as many as 10% of all children and half of obese children have some form of liver disease.

Why the liver?
When we usually think of cirrhosis of the liver, we usually think of alcoholics or people with hepatitis. The overweight children develop what is called 'fatty liver' which can then lead to cirrhosis. It can be reversed through weight loss as long as it is caught before full blown cirrhosis. Kids who are diabetic or have heart problems are at higher risk.

Adults also hit
Obese adults are also feeling the effects of liver damage. Fatty liver as a result of obesity is expected to be the top cause of liver transplants by 2020.

This article is sparking debate among readers about whether obese adults and children should be put on the top of liver transplant lists.

This is just another serious consequence of living with extra pounds. When children are overweight or obese and persists through adulthood, they are at risk of so many diseases. We need to continue to help children learn portion control, healthier choices, and how to make exercise fun so they want to participate.

Photo courtesy of cbc.ca
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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