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July 10, 2013

Global Obesity Symposium Gives Vets The Big Picture

The speakers at the Hill’s Global Symposium on Obesity, ‘How To Make Less More’ shared the very latest research and opinions in this subject area with an audience of 130 leading vets from around the world at the end of May. Cutting edge scientific presentations explored the aetiology of obesity, how to measure obesity and new thinking in ways to tackle the problem. Attendees to the Symposium in Barcelona were left with a thorough understanding of the problem and introduced to a novel solution in the form of Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution, which has been formulated using ground breaking nutrigenomic technology.

Hein Meyer, Director of professional and veterinary affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, welcoming vets from all over the world to the Hill’s Global Symposium on Obesity in Barcelona.

Obesity continues to be the most prevalent disease in dogs, cats and humans with well reported health consequences. Despite this, veterinarians often struggle to convince owners of the seriousness of obesity in their pets. Those owners that do understand the health risks of obesity and want to do something about it for their pet can become disheartened if weight loss programmes fail. A particularly common problem is weight regain after a successful weight loss programme comes to an end.

The Symposium addressed all of these issues, with one of the highlights being new research which shows how nutrigenomics can be used to tackle obesity. Trials performed under strictly controlled conditions at the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center (Topeka, KS) demonstrated that the nutrition of new Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ Metabolic successfully altered the gene expression of overweight cats and dogs to more closely represent that of a lean animal. Another veterinary supervised, double blinded trial in the homes of real pet owners resulted in successful weight loss in 88% of 314 animals in the home environment. The issue of weight regain was also addressed – if Metabolic continues to be fed to an animal after a weight loss programme ends, the animal is maintained in the lean animal gene expression state, reducing the risk of rebound weight.


All the speakers from the Hill’s Global Symposium on Obesity (from L-R); Kevin Hahn, Alex German, Kelly Swanson, Debra Horwitz, Angie Witzel, Mireille Serlie, Marjorie Chandler and Iveta Becvarova.

The Symposium programme made sure that attendees were encouraged to consider obesity from all angles. Dr. Alex German and Dr. Angela Witzel reviewed current weight management strategies and the various techniques for determining the ideal weight of obese pets, with particular focus on the benefits of using morphometric measurements. Some fascinating data about the role that gut microbial populations can play in the development of obesity were discussed by Dr. Kelly Swanson. Dr. Marjorie Chandler looked at whether obesity might actually be beneficial to animals – the ‘obesity paradox’ – adding some thought provoking new perspectives.

Hein Meyer, Director of Professional & Veterinary Affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, gave his thoughts on the Symposium: “At Hill’s, we have always been keen to encourage discussion about pet obesity – a problem that is quite literally growing around the world. As many of the presentations here have explained, it is so much more than a cosmetic issue and by discussing current thinking with vets who are on the front line in the war on obesity, we can help to facilitate a healthier future for pets across the globe”.

The proceedings from the Hill’s Global Obesity Symposium are available to download from www.hillsvet.co.uk. For further information about new Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution, visit on-line product key at www.hillsvet.co.uk.


About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd. manufactures Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ brand pet foods, dietetic pet foods available through veterinary surgeons, and Hill’s™ Science Plan™ brand pet foods sold through veterinary practices and specialist pet  shops. Founded more than 70 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s™ is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets.  Hill’s™ produces high quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd, and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition™ visit hillspet.co.uk. Veterinary professionals can visit www.hillsvet.co.uk.