AIM: To investigate the effect of lifestyle intervention on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in Chinese obese children.
METHODS: Seventy-six obese children aged from 10 to 17 years with NAFLD were enrolled for a one-month intervention and divided randomly into three groups. Group1, consisting of 38 obese children, was an untreated control group without any intervention. Group 2, consisting of 19 obese children in summer camp, was strictly controlled only by life style intervention. Group 3, consisting of 19 obese children, received oral vitamin E therapy at a dose of 100 mg/d. The height, weight, fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting serum insulin (FINS), plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TCHO) and homeostasis model assent-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were measured at baseline and after one month. All patients were underwent to an ultrasonographic study of the liver performed by one operator who was blinded to the groups.
RESULTS: The monitor indices of BMI, ALT, AST, TG, TCHO and HOMA-IR were successfully improved except in group 1. BMI and ALT in group 2 were reduced more significantly than in group 3 (2.44 ± 0.82 vs 1.45 ± 0.80, P = 0.001; 88.58 ± 39.99 vs 63.69 ± 27.05, P = 0.040, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Both a short-term lifestyle intervention and vitamin E therapy have an effect on NAFLD in obese children. Compared with vitamin E, lifestyle intervention is more effective. Therefore, lifestyle intervention should represent the first step in the management of children with NAFLD.