Current Hepatology Reports

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 444–454 | Cite as

Medical Approach for Weight Loss in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

  • Albert DoEmail author
  • Ysabel C. Ilagan-Ying
  • Wajahat Z. Mehal
Fatty Liver Disease (V Ajmera, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Fatty Liver Disease


Purpose of Review

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has reached epidemic proportions due to obesity in the modern world. Although treatments are in development, weight loss remains the most definitive and impactful approach to treating this disease and with it the other multisystemic complications of obesity. In this review, we summarize the current medical therapies for weight loss in NAFLD, including patient evaluation, counseling, and incorporation of medications for obesity.

Recent Findings

Despite need for weight loss as treatment for NAFLD, few achieve successful weight loss. Weight loss medications lead to weight loss of 5 to 10%, the amount expected to improve NAFLD steatosis and fibrosis. Ultimately, a multimodal approach is necessary to achieve successful weight loss.


Medical management for weight loss in NAFLD requires fibrosis staging and developing a patient-centered approach to assessment of patient weight and behavioral change goals.


Steatohepatitis Obesity Pharmacology Weight loss medications Diet Exercise 



Body mass index


Child Pugh


Endoscopic bariatric therapies


Food and Drug Administration


Nonalcoholic fatty liver


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis



This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH T32 DK007017-41 (AD)).

Author Contributions

All authors (AD, YCI, and WZM) contributed to research, writing, and editing of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Albert Do, Ysabel C. Ilagan-Ying, and Wajahat Z. Mehal each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Do
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ysabel C. Ilagan-Ying
    • 2
  • Wajahat Z. Mehal
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Digestive Diseases, Department of Internal MedicineYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Yale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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