Publication Date



Hepatology Communications






BACKGROUND: Clinically significant weight loss-which requires sustained dietary and physical activity changes-is central to treating NAFLD. Although behavioral interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in promoting weight loss among primary prevention populations, the data are limited among patients with NAFLD who need weight loss for treatment. We undertook this scoping review to map the existing data on the characteristics, weight-loss outcomes, and determinants of success of interventions evaluated among patients with NAFLD.

METHODS: We searched Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, PsycINFO, and Web of Science from inception to January 1, 2023 to identify publications reporting weight loss among adults with NAFLD in behavioral weight-loss interventions. We summarized interventions and classified them as successful if there was an average weight loss of ≥ 5% from baseline across enrolled participants or achieved by ≥ 50% of enrolled participants.

RESULTS: We included 28 studies: 10 randomized control trials, ten quasi-experimental, and 8 observational studies. Intervention delivery, duration, and counseling frequency varied; 12 were successful. Retention was highest among telephone interventions and lowest among "real-world" face-to-face interventions. Patients who were women, younger, and/or had multiple metabolic conditions were most likely to dropout. Successful interventions had biweekly counseling, specific physical activity, and calorie targets, behavioral theory grounding, and promoted goal-setting, self-monitoring, and problem-solving.

CONCLUSION: There are limited data on behavioral weight-loss interventions in NAFLD. Research is needed to develop effective interventions generalizable to diverse patient populations and that maximize adherence, particularly among patients who are diabetic, women, and younger.


Adult, Humans, Female, Male, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Weight Loss, Exercise

Published Open-Access