Pet Parents: Go easy on “Treat Love.”
I subscribe to Obesity and Energetics Offerings because it’s a great way to keep up with current research and commentary on just about anything related to diet and activity.
One of the things I particularly like about it is its section called “Headline vs Study.”
Here is its most recent example:
- Headline: New Study Reveals COVID-19 Pandemic Fueling Pet Obesity.
- Press-release: No Formal Study Report Found. Survey of Pet Owner and Veterinarian Perception of Eating Behavior and Pet Obesity Patterns. No Pet Obesity Reported.
The headline, from Pet Food Industry magazine (an unusually well written and edited source of information about this industry), refers to a survey of veterinarians done by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a maker of pet foods.
According to veterinarians, more than 71% of pet professionals say the pandemic has impacted the way pets eat…Since the start of Covid-19, one third (33%) of pet parents with an overweight pet say their pet became overweight during the pandemic…veterinarians state that only 12% of pet parents proactively flag concerns with their pet’s weight. Moreover, nearly two in three veterinarians say pet parents act surprised (64%) or defensive (64%) upon learning about their pet’s weight issues.
Pet parents? You know who you are.
What is this about?
IRONICALLY, TOO MUCH “TREAT LOVE” DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES IS THE MAIN CULPRIT.
Treats, as Mal Nesheim and I explain in our book about the pet food industry, Feed Your Pet Right, have calories, and those calories—just like the ones from any snack—add up.
Obesity in pets does just what it does in humans; it raises the risk of chronic disease, especially type-2 diabetes
A new study just out in the BMJ, which compared obesity in dogs to that of their owners, says:
Data indicated that owners of a dog with diabetes were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes during follow-up than owners of a dog without diabetes. It is possible that dogs with diabetes could serve as a sentinel for shared diabetogenic health behaviours and environmental exposures.
Pet parents: Walk those dogs! Love them some other way!