Harvard Health Letter

In Brief: Of pets and pounds

In Brief

Of pets and pounds

It's said that pets, particularly dogs, look like their owners. But poor pooches — they're getting portly like us and suffering myriad health consequences. Roughly 30% of adult Americans are obese (defined as having a body mass index of 30 or over). A National Academy of Sciences report on pet nutrition published several years ago said 25% of cats and dogs are in the same category.

The drug companies are poised to pounce: In 2007, the FDA approved Pfizer's dirlotapide (Slentrol), a weight-loss drug for dogs that suppresses appetite and blocks fat absorption.

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