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A Healthy Liver for a Healthy You

As we approach the International Liver Congress™ 2020, EASL is turning its attention to health in daily life and its importance in protecting the liver.

Everything we consume, from food and drink to medicines, goes through the liver, and keeping it healthy is a key part of maintaining our overall health. Two of the best-known causes of liver damage – alcohol and drug use – continue to be a problem in 2019. Whilst we know how to reduce their harm through restrictions on price, availability, and marketing, implementing these policies continues to be a major challenge. In addition, the global obesity epidemic has led to a greater awareness of how physical inactivity and unhealthy diets contribute to fatty liver disease.

While it is, of course, possible to eat healthily and exercise plentifully, the odds are stacked against many of us. We are constantly faced with readily available, cheap, appealing, but unhealthy food, and it is often easier to take the car than walk or cycle. There is a strong and growing body of evidence that the most important drivers of behaviour lie in the physical, social and economic environments in which we live. Supporting liver health will require medical knowledge and recognition of environmental barriers combined with smart policy to create a health-promoting society.

At ILC 2020, doctors, patients, allied health professionals and policymakers will discuss the important new insights and information to help them combat liver disease. Attendees will hear the latest epidemiological and real-world data on how physical inactivity and poor diets contribute to liver disease and gain a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Leading clinicians and researchers in the field will talk about the kinds of everyday life changes that can help or even reverse liver disease, and update on treatment options.

The congress will also update attendees on EASL’s important policy and advocacy work, providing evidence and support to governments and international organizations implementing laws and policies that promote health in daily life.

After the success of the hepatology arena in 2019, we have decided to stage two arenas in 2020 where interactive and engaging sessions will be held. Sessions have also been rearranged to offer the best experience for delegates and avoid topic overlap. Upon popular request, there will be more “pros and cons” sessions and extended time for poster viewing.

In September 2019 EASL launched a policy statement on equality, diversity and inclusion.
These values are at the heart of our organisation and critical if we are to make progress in liver research, medicine and education. EASL is committed to pursuing excellence in the field of hepatology for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, nationality, disability, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic background or age. At ILC 2020, we are working towards implementing this policy and have childcare facilities and a prayer room at the event.

Whatever your role, ILC 2020 will involve you in EASL’s mission to improve liver heath and support you in doing your part.

Welcoming you to the International Liver Congress™ 2020!

Phil Newsome
EASL Secretary General