Regular Fast-Food Consumption Is Associated with Liver Disease: Study

Side view of young attractive woman in latex gloves packing food in paper bags for delivery through cityPoor diet is a major factor in many serious health issues, with fast food often cited as one of the leading causes of liver disease. So, while fast food is convenient, inexpensive, and tastes good – is it worth the risks?

Recent research has indicated a link between regular fast food meals and the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), making it important to consider the long-term risks when dining out. Today, we’ll take a look at how a poor diet high in fried foods and added fats could be detrimental to your liver, as well as steps that you can take to help minimize any potential harm.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may sound intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. In essence, it’s an accumulation of excess fat in the liver caused by eating many unhealthy foods, being overweight and having high cholesterol levels or diabetes. While non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can have serious consequences, such as liver cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, those who act quickly can reverse some of its effects with sensible lifestyle changes.

A new study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology used the data from the nation’s largest annual nutritional survey, the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, to help determine the impact of fast-food consumption on liver steatosis.

Fast food was categorized as meals from drive-through restaurants or ones without wait staff. Pizza was also included in the study.
Approximately 4,000 adults’ fatty liver measurements were included in the study which was compared to their fast-food consumption. Of those surveyed, 52% consumed some fast food. Of those participants, 29% consumed one-fifth or more daily calories from fast food, and 29 % of survey subjects experienced a rise in liver fat levels.

The relationship between fast food consumption and liver steatosis held true even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, race, physical activity and alcohol use.

“Our findings are particularly alarming as fast-food consumption has gone up in the last 50 years, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Ani Kardashian, MD, lead author of the study. “We’ve also seen a substantial surge in fast-food dining during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is probably related to the decline in full-service restaurant dining and rising rates of food insecurity. We worry that the number of those with fatty livers has gone up even more since the time of the survey.”


Researchers hope this study will encourage healthcare professionals to offer their patients with diabetes or obesity more nutrition education. Patients who are at a higher risk of developing liver disease need more information to make informed dietary choices.

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Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.