Recently, on Global Fatty Liver Day, the importance of early detection of Fatty liver disease and proactive health screenings was highlighted. 

Key highlights:

  • This year, the theme for International Fatty Liver Day is ‘Act Now, Screen Today’. 
  • This theme highlights the urgent need for awareness and proactive health screenings more than ever before.
  • Fatty liver disease, once primarily associated with excessive alcohol consumption, has emerged as a significant and growing health concern linked closely to metabolic syndrome. 
  • This syndrome encompasses conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels. 
  • The progressive form, Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH), characterized by liver inflammation and scarring, is projected to become the leading cause of chronic liver disease and a major reason for liver transplants. 

Fatty liver disease (FLD) 

FLD is a growing health concern worldwide, and India is no exception. This condition, also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is characterized by an abnormal buildup of fat in the liver, even in people who don’t drink excessive alcohol.

Global Fatty Liver Day

  • The Global Liver Institute, based in Washington, D.C., collaborates with over 220 organizations from more than 75 countries to recognize June 13 as Global Fatty Liver Day. 
  • Since 2018, this special day has raised awareness and educated people about a disease that affects roughly 1 in 4 people worldwide. 


The main culprit behind FLD is often linked to an unhealthy lifestyle, including:

  • Excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars, leading to insulin resistance and fat storage in the liver.
  • Obesity and overweight conditions.
  • Lack of physical activity.


  • While early-stage FLD may not cause immediate harm, it can progress to more severe conditions like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.


  • Global prevalence of Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is estimated to be 25-30%.
  • In India, the situation is particularly severe, with a 2022 meta-analysis revealing that 38.6% of adults and around 36% of obese children have fatty liver disease. 
  • Individuals with metabolic syndrome conditions face exceptionally high MASLD prevalence rates of 55.5%-59.7% for diabetes, 64.6%-95% for obesity, and 73% for severe metabolic syndrome

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Silent Disease: FLD often progresses without noticeable symptoms, leading to delayed diagnosis and potentially more advanced stages of the disease by the time it’s detected.
  • Lack of Awareness: Limited public awareness surrounding FLD and its risk factors can hinder early intervention and preventive measures.

Initiatives and Solutions:

  • Integration with Existing Programs: The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare aims to integrate NAFLD management with existing programs like the National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS). This allows for leveraging existing infrastructure for screening, diagnosis, and management.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Promoting healthy lifestyles through public health campaigns and community initiatives is crucial. This includes advocating for balanced diets, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Early Detection: Encouraging regular health checkups and raising awareness about FLD symptoms can facilitate early diagnosis and timely treatment.

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