Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a liver condition, characterised by inflammation and scarring due to fat accumulation, which affects millions of people worldwide. NASH is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorders, with its causes related to sedentary lifestyles.
To raise awareness and foster collaboration among stakeholders on this public health issue, the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) organised the EU NASH Summit on 7th June 2023 in the European Parliament. The summit brought together health experts from different sectors, and notably provided a space to discuss the role of physical activity in preventing and treating NASH. ELPA’s President, Marko Korenjak, opened the event by stressing the next pandemic is already here, in reference to the high levels of non-communicable disease (NCDs) among European citizens. Korenjak also highlighted that ELPA is currently running a #FattyLiverMonth campaign to promote healthy lifestyles.
As part of NASH Summit, EuropeActive presented two relevant EU-funded projects in which it is involved: Let’s move Europa (EUMOVE) and the HEPA Project: A whole school approach promoting HEPA. Both projects share the common objective of fostering healthy habits among children through preventive education to boost engagement in physical activity. These evidence-based projects seek to promote and enable a comprehensive whole-school approach and offer educational resources and training for teachers, school staff, caregivers, and students.
In its Global Action Plan on Physical Activity, the World Health Organization estimates that 1–3% of national healthcare expenditures are attributable to physical inactivity. WHO therefore recommends a 15% relative reduction in the global prevalence of physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 2025, using a baseline of 2016. For patients with NASH, physical activity can be beneficial through having positive effects on liver and metabolic health, and lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides.
The European NASH Summit 2023 was a successful event, highlighting the need for greater awareness, research, and preventative action on NASH. The HEPA and EU MOVE projects presented by EuropeActive strive to enhance physical activity among children and adolescents, hence endorsing a health prevention role to improve liver health and overall well-being.
For more information about the summit and NASH, please visit ELPA’s social media account.