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Obesity and weight management

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Abstract

Current estimates suggest that approximately 40% of pets in the UK are either overweight or obese. The condition is now the most common medical disorder of companion animals and a major welfare concern. This chapter looks at Defining obesity; Measuring body composition in companion animals; Pathological consequences of obesity; Risk factors for obesity; Therapeutic options for weight management; The six components of weight management strategy; and Prevention of obesity.

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Figures

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6.2 Energy intake from the diet must equal that of energy expenditure in order for bodyweight to remain stable. Excessive or insufficient energy intake leads, respectively, to expansion or contraction of white adipose tissue. Numerous factors can influence the ease with which energy is stored or mobilized (see text).
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6.4 Broad strategies for weight management in dogs. For the weight loss phase, a conventional approach (left side) involves dietary caloric restriction and changes in lifestyle, including increasing activity via exercise and play sessions. Mitratapide (middle) is designed to ‘kick-start’ a conventional weight management programme, since it can only be used for the first 8 weeks. In contrast, dirlotapide (right side) can be used continuously for a period of up to 12 months and this may be sufficient for the dog to reach target weight. Only dietary advice and lifestyle changes should be used in the weight maintenance phase.
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6.7 Periodic photographs can be used to illustrate changes in bodyweight.

Supplements

9-point body condition scale for dogs. (© Nestlé Purina PetCare and reproduced with their permission)

9-point body condition scale for cats. (© Nestlé Purina PetCare and reproduced with their permission)

A recently developed algorithm-based body condition scoring scheme for dogs. (Reproduced by permission of WALTHAM™ Centre for Pet Nutrition; © 2005 Mars, Inc.)

A recently developed algorithm-based body condition scoring scheme for cats. (Reproduced by permission of WALTHAM™ Centre for Pet Nutrition; © 2005 Mars, Inc.)

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