OBJECTIVE: In the last decade, it was demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet (MD) represents an ideal diet for all age groups and has an important role in the prevention of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, as well as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The aim of the present study was to analyze the association between adherence to the MD and NAFLD, with laboratory and histologic evaluation, in a group of children and adolescents with obesity.
METHODS: We enrolled 243 patients with obesity referred to our department from March 2014 to November 2015. In all patients, we performed abdominal ultrasound and laboratory assays. In selected cases (100 patients) liver biopsy was performed. Level of adherence to the MD was evaluated by a clinical questionnaire, the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for children and adolescents (KIDMED).
RESULTS: The prevalence of low KIDMED score was significantly higher in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis compared with other groups; poor adherence to the MD correlated with liver damage, the NAFLD activity score >5, and grade 2 fibrosis. Moreover, in patients with poor adherence to the MD, higher values of C-reactive protein, fasting insulin, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, and homeostatic model assessment of β cell function were observed.
CONCLUSION: The MD could be a safe and inexpensive therapeutic option for children with obesity and NAFLD.
- Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology
- Diet, Mediterranean/statistics & numerical data
- Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/epidemiology
- Patient Compliance/statistics & numerical data
- Pediatric Obesity/epidemiology
- Risk Reduction Behavior