Fatty Liver Disease and Food Insecurity: Excess in Scarcity

Sujani Yadlapati, Vikram J. Christian, Apeksha Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is widely prevalent in the U.S and is the primary cause of chronic liver disease. Existing evidence shows that food insecurity may be an independent risk factor for fatty liver disease and is associated with poor health outcomes. Understanding the role of food insecurity in these patients can help develop mitigation strategies to address the growing prevalence of NAFLD. Recent Findings: Food insecurity is associated with increased overall mortality and health care utilization among patients with NAFLD and advanced fibrosis. Individuals from low-income households with diabetes and obesity are particularly susceptible. Trends in prevalence of NAFLD mirror that of obesity and other cardiometabolic risk factors. Several studies in both adult and adolescent population have described an independent association between food insecurity and NAFLD. Summary: Concentrated efforts to lessen food insecurity may improve health outcomes in this group of patients. High-risk patients with NAFLD should be linked with local and federal supplemental food assistance programs. Programs directed at addressing NAFLD-related mortality and morbidity should focus on improving food quality, access to these foods, and promote healthy eating habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-444
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cirrhosis
  • Fibrosis
  • Food insecurity
  • NASH
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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