Poor dietary habits have been implicated in the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
However, little is known about the role of specific dietary patterns in the development of NAFLD.
Dr Wendy Oddy and colleagues examined prospective associations between dietary patterns and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in a population-based cohort of adolescents.
The research team reported that participants in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study completed a food frequency questionnaire at 14 years, and had liver ultrasound at 17 years.
Healthy and Western dietary patterns were identified using factor analysis, and all participants received a z-score for these patterns.
The team of researchers reported that prospective associations between the dietary pattern scores and risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were analyzed using multiple logistic regression.
|Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was present in 15% of adolescents. |
|The American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The research team noted that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was present in 15% of adolescents.
The doctors reported that a higher Western dietary pattern score at 14 years was associated with a greater risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease at 17 years, although these associations were no longer significant after adjusting for body mass index at 14 years.
However, a healthy dietary pattern at 14 years appeared protective against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease at 17 years in centrally obese adolescents, whereas a Western dietary pattern was associated with an increased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Dr Oddy's team concluded, "A Western dietary pattern at 14 years in a general population sample was associated with an increased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease at 17 years, particularly in obese adolescents."
"In centrally obese adolescents with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a healthy dietary pattern may be protective, whereas a Western dietary pattern may increase the risk."