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Children at risk of liver diseases

Wednesday July 6th 2011

Obesity has put more than half a million children under the threat of liver diseases, a Government expert has warned.

Professor Martin Lombard, national clinical director for liver at the Department of Health, warns the number of young people at the risk of fatty liver diseases is likely to soar as obesity increases because of overeating.

Experts claim around 500,000 children between the age of four and 14, including 60,000 10-year-olds, are suffering from non alcoholic liver disease. This is caused by accumulation of fat within liver cells causing inflammation and swelling.

The condition could also lead to a life-threatening condition called cirrhosis of the liver.

Figures show that at present a quarter of youngsters aged four and five are overweight or obese. However experts predict that by 2050, 63% of children will be obese.

Professor Lombard said: "We know that with childhood obesity on the rise we can expect more children to be at risk of fatty liver disease in the near future."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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