Metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), formerly named “nonalcoholic fatty liver disease” occurs in about one-third of the general population of developed countries worldwide and behaves as a major morbidity and mortality risk factor for major causes of death, such as cardiovascular, digestive, metabolic, neoplastic and neuro-degenerative diseases. However, progression of MAFLD and its associated systemic complications occur almost invariably in patients who experience the additional burden of intrahepatic and/or systemic inflammation, which acts as disease accelerator. Our review is focused on the new knowledge about the brain-gut-liver axis in the context of metabolic dysregulations associated with fatty liver, where insulin resistance has been assumed to play an important role. Special emphasis has been given to digital imaging studies and in particular to positron emission tomography, as it represents a unique opportunity for the noninvasive in vivo study of tissue metabolism. An exhaustive revision of targeted animal models is also provided in order to clarify what the available preclinical evidence suggests for the causal interactions between fatty liver, dysregulated endogenous glucose production and insulin resistance.