Canine and feline obesity: a One Health perspective.

Abstract

Over the past decade, there has been a growing awareness of the need for collaboration between the fields of human and veterinary medicine. Initially, efforts in this new area of One Health focused on preventing the spread of disease from farm animals and wild animals into human populations. More recently, there has been a growing awareness of the role of companion animals in One Health. Thus, in 2010, the World Small Animal veterinary Association (WSAvA) established a One Health committee with the remit of ‘positioning small companion animals in the global One Health framework’ (Day 2010). This committee has so far focused on the spread of zoonotic diseases from dogs, cats and other pet animals to humans. However, it also envisions two other future fields of work: comparative medicine and the human-animal bond. In both fields, however, the focus is rather human-centred. According to the chair of the committee, Michael Day, the motivation for comparative medicine is that ‘The study of spontaneously arising canine and feline diseases holds great potential for understanding the human counterparts.’ The importance of studying the humananimal bond is justified by reference to the Recent years have seen a drastic increase in the rates of overweight and obesity among people living in some developed nations. There has also been increased concern over obesity in companion animals. In the latest article in Veterinary Record’s series on One Health, Peter Sandøe and colleagues argue that the relationship between obesity in people and in companion animals is closer and more complex than previously thought, and that obesity should be treated as a One Health problem

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