Evidence relating dietary patterns to obesity and related disorders such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is limited in pediatric age. Aim of this study was to analyze the association between dietary patterns, obesity and development of severe steatosis and the metabolic syndrome in a series of children and adolescents referred for suspected NAFLD, and the interaction with the rs738409 I148M PNPLA3 polymorphism. Two hundred patients (112 females) had completed a food frequency and demographic questionnaire. Nearly 58% were obese, and 32% were overweight. Mild, moderate, and severe fatty liver was present in 60 (30%), 87 (44%), and 51 (26%) participants, respectively. A great proportion of overweight/ obese children and adolescents reported a correct dietary pattern. At multivariate ordinal regression analysis considering demographic, anthropometric, genetic, and behavioral determinants, the major determinant of steatosis severity was PNPLA3 I148M genotype (p <0.0001), followed by older age (p = 0.017), higher waist circumference (p = 0.016), and less time spent practising physical exercise (p = 0.034). Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between PNPLA3 I148M and intake of sweetened beverages (p = 0.033) and of vegetables (p = 0.038). In conclusion, although dietary pattern was reportedly correct in at-risk overweight adolescents with NAFLD, we report a novel interaction between PNPLA3 I148M and dietary components with the severity of steatosis.
- Dietary pattern
- Food frequency
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism