The surge of obesity across generations has become an increasingly relevant issue, with consequences for associated comorbidities in offspring. Data from longitudinal birth cohort studies support an association between maternal obesity and offspring nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), suggesting that perinatal obesity or obesogenic diet exposure reprograms offspring liver and increases NAFLD susceptibility. In preclinical models, offspring exposed to maternal obesogenic diet have increased hepatic steatosis after diet-induced obesity; however, the implications for later NAFLD development and progression are still unclear. Although some models show increased NAFLD incidence and progression in offspring, development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with fibrosis may be model dependent. Multigenerational programming of NAFLD phenotypes occurs after maternal obesogenic diet exposure; however, the mechanisms for such programming remain poorly understood. Likewise, emerging data on the role of paternal obesity in offspring NAFLD development reveal incomplete mechanisms. This review will explore the impact of parental obesity and obesogenic diet exposure on offspring NAFLD and areas for further investigation, including the impact of parental diet on disease progression, and consider potential interventions in preclinical models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1403
Number of pages12
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


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