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Unhealthy eating, psychopathology, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in youth presenting for bariatric surgery

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology Nov 25, 2021

Ley SL, Zeller MH, Reiter-Purtill J, et al. - Diet is suggested to contribute to the development and persistence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Researchers herein investigated the prevalence of unhealthy eating behaviors (UEB) and examined if these differed by NAFLD or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) presence. Further, the association of psychopathology with NAFLD was investigated in this study.

  • Before metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS), presence/absence of 10 UEB (Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns-Revised, Night Eating Questionnaire, Look AHEAD) were self-reported by adolescents (N = 159; Mage = 16.4; MBMI = 53.7 kg/m2, 73% girls, 62.3% white).

  • Intraoperative liver biopsy provided information concerning NAFLD and NASH presence.

  • Higher odds of NAFLD were recorded in correlation with binge eating disorder symptomatology whereas there were lower odds of NAFLD in correlation with frequent eating out.

  • Among those with NAFLD, frequent eating out was linked with greater odds of NASH while nocturnal eating was linked with lower odds of NASH.

  • Overall adolescents presenting for MBS with/without NAFLD had potential phenotypical differences, with implications for behavioral/psychosocial targets for screening and intervention.

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