The liver naturally stores a small amount of fat. When a child’s liver stores too much fat, they have what is called fatty liver disease.
One type of fatty liver disease is simple fatty liver, which usually doesn’t cause any liver damage. The other type is nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. With this type, the child’s liver is inflamed, and the liver cells are damaged. If NASH becomes severe, it can lead to scarring, or cirrhosis when the child is an adult.
Fatty liver disease is the most common liver condition in children in the U.S, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s sometimes called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to distinguish it from alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by drinking too much alcohol.