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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Presented by Tayla Robertson, APD

NAFLD is increasing worldwide and is the most common liver disorder in Western industrialised countries (estimated to occur in 25-30% of people in the United States). The major risk factors for NAFLD are: central obesity, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, and metabolic syndrome.

Of people who are diagnosed with NAFLD, approximately 10-20% develop NASH. Of those people, 5-10% progress to cirrhosis over 5 years.

The primary focus of NAFLD management is weight loss to reduce excess fat.

Using her extensive research and expertise from the Princess Alexandra Hospital Hepatology Clinic, Tayla describes the most promising diet, exercise and psychological interventions in detail.

People with NAFLD generally have diets high in saturated fat, refined carbohydrate, fructose and cholesterol, and tend to be lower than recommended in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Tayla explains the evidence around specific dietary components and the development of NAFLD including: fructose, soft drink, coffee, red and processed meats. She also assesses total diet composition and the Mediterranean diet and includes advice on how to measure a client’s behavioural dietary shifts using one of the many diet quality tools available.

Tayla Robertson is the senior clinical dietitian for the Princess Alexandra Hospital Hepatology Integrated Care Clinic. The clinic is pioneering a multidisciplinary model of care, aimed to improve patient outcomes with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) through an intensive 12-week intervention aimed to achieve a weight loss and improve dietary quality. Tayla's research interests also include implementation of enhanced recovery after surgery protocols in patients undergoing colorectal and hepatobiliary surgery, with a focus on improving preoperative management and early postoperative nutrition provision.

Tayla would like to acknowledge expert assistance in developing her presentation from:

  • Dr. Ingrid Hickman, Principal Research Fellow, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • A/Prof Graeme Macdonald, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and TRI, Princess Alexandra Hospital

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