GLI’s Liver Action Network Supports World Obesity Day to Acknowledge Strong Connection Between NASH and Obesity
As members of Global Liver Institute’s Liver Action Network (LAN), the undersigned organizations are proud to take part in World Obesity Day, and take action to recognize the bidirectional relationship between many chronic liver diseases like nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and obesity. Worldwide, NASH affects more than 148 million people and continues to rise each year.1 Increasing amounts of research have closely linked the presence of NASH to metabolic comorbidities, two of the most common being obesity and diabetes.2 This is why it is imperative that ongoing awareness efforts advocate collaboratively to address these linked conditions holistically rather than through siloed efforts.
Today, the LAN pledges collective support of World Obesity Day to acknowledge the strong connection between NASH and obesity. Celebrated annually on March 4, World Obesity Day is a global movement that corrals attention around the urgent need for awareness, education and policy action aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity. The need for action has never been greater as the worldwide burden of obesity could affect upwards of 1 billion people by 2025, subsequently increasing the number of individuals at risk for developing NASH.3
As representatives of the liver advocacy community, we stand alongside the entire obesity advocacy community in recognizing obesity as a serious condition, and as a severe metabolic risk factor for NASH. We set forth the following recommendations to reduce overall burden of NASH and obesity collectively:
- Worldwide prevalence of obesity among diagnosed NASH patients can range as high as 81%.5 Therefore, we also strongly support increased support of obesity preventative measures and public health programs at local, national, and global levels.
- Due to NASH’s strong link to obesity, a 7-10% weight loss is understood as the threshold needed to induce the highest rates of NASH resolution and fibrosis regression.4 However, weight loss is extremely difficult to accomplish and sustain. This is why globally we strongly support increased access to available safe and effective obesity treatment options like anti-obesity medications. Specifically, in the United States, we
support Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-obesity medications and urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Biden administration to include Medicare Part D coverage for these medications.
This coalition stands ready to partner with other like-minded initiatives in the areas of NASH, obesity and diabetes to amplify the message of the correlation between these conditions. We look forward to the future and ensuring individuals affected by liver diseases are not left alone.
Liver Action Network Members:
Global Liver Institute
Community Liver Alliance
Fatty Liver Alliance
Fatty Liver Foundation
Liver Coalition of San Diego
Liver Health Foundation
Midsouth Liver Alliance
Northeast Ohio Liver Alliance
Texas Liver Foundation
Empire Liver Foundation