Most people associate liver disease with a bleary-eyed, chronic alcoholic (a condition called dipsomania in the 19th century). But there’s another type of liver disease that has little to do with alcohol and more to do with overeating. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) describes the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol.
It’s more common than you think—and seldom causes signs or symptoms. However, in some people with NAFLD, the liver can become inflamed and scarred—and even lead to liver failure.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and body mass index
NAFLD is caused by the inability of the liver to break down fats—causing fat build up in liver tissue. There is a wide range of causes including high cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides in the blood, malnutrition, metabolic syndrome and obesity. 
All of the stages of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are now believed to be due to insulin resistance, a condition closely associated with obesity. In fact, body mass index (BMI) correlates with the degree of liver damage: the higher your BMI, the higher your risk for NAFLD. Compute your body mass index. NAFLD is found most often in developed countries where a sedentary lifestyle and high-calorie, sugar and fat consumption lead to obesity.
NAFLD is currently the most common liver disease in the United States and worldwide, affecting an estimated 10-24% of the world’s population. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control report that approximately one half of the United States adult population is overweight (with BMI score greater than 25) and one quarter of the U.S. adult population is obese (with BMI score greater than 30). That means upwards of 29 million Americans have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Even more alarming than these statistics? Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is occurring among children in the United States.
If you have a family history of heart disease, liver disease or stroke, consider the Super Chemistry + Heart + Thyroid + Ferritin blood test. This test measures liver health (among many other things) and may be just the impetus you need to turn the corner on better health.