The study, published this month in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, examined nearly 100 commercially available diets with weight management claims. Among their findings is that dry dog foods range in calorie density from 217 to 440 kilocalories per cup (kcal/cup) and a recommended intake that ranged from 0.73 to 1.47 times the dog’s resting energy requirement. The diets also varied wildly in price—from 4 cents to more than $1.10 per kilocalorie.
Similar findings were made in wet dog food (189-398 kcal/can) and cat food (235-480 kcal/cup) marketed for weight control. The results may be significant for owners whose cats or dogs are overweight or obese, according to Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, the study’s co-author along with 2010 Cummings School graduate Deborah E. Linder, DVM. Nearly 50% of domesticated animals are overweight or obese.
“There is so much information—and misinformation—about pet foods, it’s understandable that people are confused about what to feed their dogs and cats,” said co-author Dr. Lisa Freeman, professor of nutrition at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “To counteract these myths, people are accustomed to turning to the labels on food—but, as this study shows, packaging might not always be a reliable source of information.”
Under federal guidelines, pet foods labeled “lite,” “light,” “low calorie,” “less calorie,” or “low calorie” must provide the caloric content. Foods with a light, lite, or low-calorie designation must also adhere to a maximum kilocalorie per kilogram restriction. However, Freeman points out that more than half of the foods evaluated in the study exceeded this maximum. Foods without these designations currently are allowed, but not required, to provide the caloric content on the label. Efforts are currently underway to make this information required on all pet food labels.
Another important issue identified in this study was the high variability in feeding recommendations for weight loss based on the labels that were evaluated. In fact, for most of the diets, pets would not lose weight or would actually gain weight if owners adhered to the labels' feeding directions and did not adjust according to their pet's individual calorie requirements.
Obesity in companion animals is associated with numerous diseases, including pancreatitis, osteoarthritis, dermatologic disease, diabetes, and respiratory tract diseases—and may contribute to a shorter lifespan, according to earlier published studies.
Calorie density was gathered from the product packaging and by contacting manufacturers. Linder and Freeman studied 44 canine and 49 feline diets.Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Tom Keppeler | Newswise Science News
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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