Srinagar, Apr 19: Sedentary lifestyle and consumption of junk food is the key reason behind surge in fatty liver, doctors said while expressing concern over the rising fatty liver population in Kashmir.
A leading oncologist at SKIMS Soura Dr Zahoor said that fatty liver or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has emerged as a major lifestyle disease in the modern world.
“It is mainly associated with intake of high calorie, processed food with poor physical activity and these people usually tend to have high BMI, hypertension and diabetes mellitus,” he said.
Fatty liver can lead to fibrosis of liver and subsequent Chronic Liver Disease (CLD), he said, adding that it is emerging as one of the major causes of liver cancer worldwide overtaking viral hepatitis in causing so.
Dr Mohammad Salim Khan, head of Department of Community Medicine at GMC Srinagar at GMC Srinagar said that the sedentary lifestyle, consumption of junk food, change in dietary pattern with consumption of food rich in fat, salt and sugar, very limited physical activities, stress, indulgence in alcoholism, all are contributing to increasing liver diseases especially fatty liver.
Furthermore, injecting drug use (abuse, addiction) with sharing of needles and syringes has caused an epidemic of viral Hepatitis, especially Hepatitis-C and Hepatitis-B, he said.
DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan said that junk food is causing a spike in fatty liver cases in the valley as junk food has become a routine part of people’s lives and has largely replaced homemade meals.
“Fast food is the quickest meal not just for busy professionals, but there is a rising trend of fast food among children and teenagers. They are often seen eating fast foods like pizzas and burgers. Children are addicted to chips, sugary drinks and frozen ready meals,” he said.
“This change in dietary habits from homemade to processed and convenient foods is the primary factor contributing to the enormous burden of fatty liver in Kashmir,” he said.
“If you are obese or diabetic, fast food has an even more negative impact on the liver and can lead to even higher amounts of fat in the liver,” he said.
Dr Nisar said one in three persons in Kashmir have fatty liver and young people are mostly hit while the prevalence of disease is 60-70% among diabetics and obese individuals.
People with fatty liver have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease, he said.
“In order to prevent this disease, we need to go back to our culture of taking homemade meals and avoid junk food. We need to be on roads and gyms rather than in luxury cars,” Dr Nisar said.
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