Briefly noted: ML Geurtsen et al. Hepatology 2021; 73: 560-570. Full text: Associations Between Intake of Sugar‐Containing Beverages in Infancy With Liver Fat Accumulation at School Age
Methods: In a population‐based prospective cohort study of 1,940 infants, we assessed sugar‐containing beverage intake (juice or soda) at 1 year with a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. Liver fat fraction and NAFLD (liver fat fraction ≥5.0%) were assessed with MR. Key findings:
- Compared to infants with <1.0 serving/day, those with >2.0 servings/day had the highest odds of NAFLD at 10 years of age (OR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.34, 6.83). This was independent of sugar‐containing beverage intake and body mass index at school age
- Liver fat fraction greater than or equal to 5% in school-aged children was almost 3-fold higher in those who consumed more than two servings of juice per day at age 1 (4.0%) than in those who drank less than one per day (1.4%)
- The associations between juice intake in infancy and NAFLD were strongest in children with overweight or obesity at age 10 and those in families with more limited education
Major strengths of this study are the population‐based prospective longitudinal design with a large sample size, with information on sugar‐containing beverage intake in infancy and liver fat fraction measured with MR at 10 years of age.
My take: Juice and other high sugar beverages (eg soda) should be avoided, particularly at younger ages.
Related blog posts:
- Low Free Sugar Diet for NAFLD in Adolescent Boys. Summary of this study in NY Times: To Fight Fatty Liver, Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
- Best Practice for Fatty Liver Disease (2021)
- Fructose Resteriction Improved Fatty Liver Disease in Children
- Proof that Diet Changes Can Improve a Fatty Liver
- When Will MRI Obviate the Need for a Liver Biopsy in Pediatric NAFLD?
- Concise Review: Fatty Liver in Pediatrics