The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between liver fat content (LFC), sedentary behaviour (SB), physical activity (PA), fitness, diet, body composition, and cardiometabolic risk factors in adults with metabolic syndrome. A total of 44 sedentary adults (mean age 58 [SD 7] years; 25 women) with overweight or obesity participated. LFC was assessed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging, SB and PA with hip-worn accelerometers (26 [SD 3] days), fitness by maximal bicycle ergometry, body composition by air displacement plethysmography and nutrient intake by 4-day food diaries. LFC was not independently associated with SB, PA or fitness. Adjusted for sex and age, LFC was associated with body fat%, body mass index, waist circumference, triglycerides, alanine aminotransferase, and with insulin resistance markers. There was and inverse association between LFC and daily protein intake, which persisted after further adjusment with body fat%. LFC is positively associated with body adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors, and inversely with daily protein intake. SB, habitual PA or fitness are not independent modulators of LFC. However, as PA is an essential component of healthy lifestyle, it may contribute to liver health indirectly through its effects on body composition in adults with metabolic syndrome.
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