Showing posts with label human obesity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human obesity. Show all posts

Sunday 19 May 2024

Ozempic tells us humans are becoming lost

In generalising as I must, humans in developed or advanced countries are becoming lost by which I mean behaviourally and emotionally. Humankind is drifting in the wrong direction. They've lost their sense of self discipline. Humans have lost their ability to deal with difficulties, deal with pain and suffering, deal with the kind of things that humans have to deal with in order to be successful and live life to the full. And to be healthy.

Ozempic tells us humans are lost
Ozempic face!! And body! This is a fantasy image of a person who took Ozempic to lose weight.

Ozempic® is cited as a wonder drug which suppresses a person's appetite which means they lose weight. It's a last desperate measure to tackle the obesity crisis among humans. Perhaps we should be giving it to domestic cats as well because they have an obesity crisis as a spin-off from the human crisis.

The huge popularity of Ozempic which will make billions of dollars for the manufacturers, is due to the simple fact that humankind nowadays has the inability to employ self-discipline to eat less. It's pretty much a simple as that.

Camilla Long, the Times journalist is very critical of humankind in her Sunday Times article. She criticises people for being unable to "countenance pain and suffering [which] has left us with Ozempic face and PTSD". Totally agree.

'Ozempic face' must refer to a gaunt face. Sharon Osbourne complained that she looked gaunt after taking Ozempic to lose weight. She regrets it.

It is called a game changing drug. A fantastic drug. Camilla Long is as disgusted as I am humankind. I must quote her.
"I can't think of a single product/medicine/panacea that defines our ephemeral world more - fill your life with disgusting junk food and then just wave a wand to make it go away."

There it is, nicely summarised by Camilla Long. Self-indulgent behaviour par excellence. Eat yourself into the grave but then take Ozempic to try and extend your lifespan. What about self-discipline? What about eating less? What about exercising a little bit? What about going for a walk in a wood or a forest to connect with nature?

There is a strong argument that eating less and exercising is far more effective than relying on Ozempic. And one day we will discover that Ozempic carries some horrible side effects. At the moment it is a wonder drug but every drug is a poison and I suspect that Ozempic is no different. Perhaps in 10 years time there'll be thousands of people with a chronic illness caused by Ozempic. Don't believe that any drug is a wonder drug.

Camilla Long complains that in every aspect of modern life people shy away from dealing with pain and suffering in order to achieve goals and live life successfully. It is a flabby, lost world.

And this discussion carries forward into the woke movement and snowflake teenagers and youngsters. The modern university student is a snowflake it seems to me. University has been dumbed down to make it much easier for students who been ill-prepared for university by their school classes. It's all dumbed down. Which means that young people are ill-prepared for the real world.

In the new world of modern parenting and schooling, nobody can fail. Failure is a word you can't use. This is the snowflake policy. Youngsters need to be toughened up. They need to face reality. They need to countenance pain and suffering in the words of Camilla Long. 

And the drug Ozempic is an example, a symptom, of the failure of humankind to face up to reality, get down and dirty, become self-disciplined, and organise their lives by taking the tough decisions.

Info about Ozempic which is not designed as weight loss drug

Ozempic® (semaglutide) is a prescription medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. Here are some key points about it:

  1. Blood Sugar Control: Ozempic® helps lower blood sugar levels by mimicking the action of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). It stimulates insulin release from the pancreas and reduces glucose production in the liver.

  2. Once-Weekly Injection: Ozempic® is administered as a once-weekly injection. It’s convenient for patients who prefer less frequent dosing.

  3. Cardiovascular Benefits: Ozempic® has been shown to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.

  4. Weight Loss: While not specifically a weight loss drug, Ozempic® may help patients lose some weight due to its effects on appetite regulation.

  5. Safety Considerations:

    • Do not share your Ozempic® pen with others.
    • Possible side effects include thyroid tumors, so monitor for symptoms like neck swelling or hoarseness.
    • Avoid Ozempic® if you have a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Saturday 11 May 2024

Obesity link to 22 types of cancer in humans should concern cat caregivers

Although, unlike human medicine, where cancer is a reportable disease and long-term data are collected there are no comprehensive databases for cancer cases in pets which makes it difficult to talk meaningfully about a possible link between increased cancer rates in cats and increased obesity levels but I want to discuss that. That said, there are claims that cancer rates are rising but it is anecdotal.

And I want to discuss this topic because in the newspaper today there is an article based upon a study which concluded that obesity can increase the risk of more than 30 different types of cancer. This is not saying that obesity per se causes cancer but that obesity exacerbates the prevalence.

The research was led by a team at Lund University in Sweden. Fat cells send out signals that increase inflammation, make extra hormones and growth factors, which increases the risk of tumours.

We know that obesity in humans and in cats can have severe health impacts in other areas i.e. cause numerous other diseases. It is really important for cat caregivers to ensure that their cat maintains an ideal weight. It's so important to health.

But in this article I want to briefly touch on this study for humans. But let's say right away that human anatomy is very similar at a fundamental level to cat anatomy. I have always argued that the causes of illness in humans can often be the same causes of illness in cats. And therefore when I see a study about human health, I tend to think of the health of our cat companions and how we can ensure we protect it.

The study I'm referring to was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice. It concerned 4.1 million adults who were tracked over four decades.

The study confirmed established findings that obesity causes 13 types of cancer including bowel and breast cancer. However, the study identified a further 19 types of cancer associated with weight gain including cervical cancer and some skin cancers.

These forms of cancer make up 40% of all new cases in people affecting tens of thousands of UK citizens annually.

Until this study was published, it was thought that only 25% of cases were obesity-related.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in pets. As I said I can't correlate the rise in feline obesity which has been described as an obesity epidemic and a concomitant rise in cancer diagnoses but I think it is there.

Also about 47% of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer and for cats it is 32%. But this information comes from personal experience is not comprehensive data as they are estimates. The numbers could be higher.

Female cats are at a higher risk compared to males especially if they've not been sterilised. And the risk of developing mammary gland tumours increases with age with the highest incidence in cats between 10-14 years of age.

My suggestion would be that veterinary clinics need to create a comprehensive database on cancer in domestic cats and dogs. 

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 19 January 2024

An important trick to eating less and achieving a good BMI

Although there are many factors in reducing your weight and achieving a good BMI, in this short post I want to address one particular issue. It's actually one particular moment.

An important trick to eating less and having a good BMI
Beat that desire to eat more. The desire will pass quickly if you deny it. And eventually you won't experience the feeling at all.

It's the moment when you finish eating. You have eaten quite a small meal because you are on a journey to losing some weight. You immediately feel like eating more. That feeling comes about because you enjoyed eating. You want to continue the enjoyment of eating.

This is the brain playing tricks. It's almost how addiction works. You like to do something and therefore you want to do more of it. Food gives you pleasure and therefore you want to do more eating to get more pleasure. Simple formula.

And so there's that one moment when you finish eating when you want to eat more and you go to the kitchen to get some more food. And you go on doing that perhaps until you are sated. Until you are full up.

But the trick is this: you should know that that feeling that you want to eat more only lasts for quite a short time. That's how the brain works. If you deny that desire to eat more, which is quite a difficult thing to do sometimes, within about 20 minutes the urge to eat more will have disappeared. You then have no desire to eat more and you will have beaten a major problem of losing weight.

It all turns on that split second and having enough self-discipline or commitment to tell the 'devil' to go away. Soon afterwards it will be history and you'll feel better. 

There is an added benefit. You'll have trained you stomach to want less. A time will come when the desire to eat more won't happen.

You will have a clear conscience that you did the right thing and that you are on the way to a good BMI and better health and therefore more happiness because there's nothing that makes older people more miserable than chronic ill-health and obesity is likely to cause ill-health in old age. 

It can be tackled. It can be beaten and in this article I address one small but vital trick, one tool in the toolbox to beat obesity.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 18 December 2023

More and more Britons, especially the young and poor are overweight with dire consequences for the NHS (and cats!)

Intro: I believe that it is time for the British people and other Westerners to put aside the sensibilities of obese people and start to criticise them. I know it's difficult and I know it's troubling to do that in a woke world and we need to respect other people. I get all that but human obesity epidemic levels are having catastrophic effects on society and I would argue on our animal companions. 

I would argue quite strongly that obese people are less good cat care givers in general, and I stress "in general" (some are great), and they might be prone to normalising obesity in their cats and dogs. This I think is technically possible and is indeed quite likely. 

When people assess the weight of their cat and dog, if they get it wrong they tend to underestimate it. In other words, many cat and dog owners are incapable of recognising mild obesity in their cat or dog. They think that there cat and dog have correct weights when they haven't. Being obese yourself encourages this perception.

And the obesity epidemic is a much bigger problem than that. It is costing the NHS £19 billion a year in treating those who are too fat and the associated lost productivity costs the economy £15 billion annually. It is putting people out of work. But I believe obesity is a symptom of attitude. Obesity can be beaten with self-discipline and a good attitude. I touch on these matters below.

Note: there is an obesity epidemic among cats as well as people. People should take note of that. It indicates to me that there is a link between human obesity and feline obesity which supports my argument on this page that when people are obese they have difficulty in assessing their cat companion's obesity. It becomes normal. That's the critical point I wish to make.

"Consistent with previous studies, it has been observed that pet owners tend to normalize their pets’ body condition, leading to an underestimation in the case of overweight animals and an overestimation for underweight ones. What was once considered “overweight” now tends to be viewed as “about right”. This shift is further amplified by the influence of social media platforms, and a similar trend may be occurring in the context of pets, perpetuating the belief that overweight animals are the norm in today’s society." - study report: The Perception of the Body Condition of Cats and Dogs by French Pet Owners and the Factors Influencing Underestimation.

Is the growing obesity epidemic among Westerners - and I am mainly referring to Britons - a symptom of a breakdown in society as we know it which includes laziness! Yes, at its heart this is all about a lack of self-discipline and one consequence of that failing is to become fat. Becoming fat is self-indulgent and sloppy. The papers don't talk about this underlying problem in British society. They just tell us as The Times does today that 3,000 ward admissions a day are linked to obesity in the UK. It is a horror story.

But the press and the government need to genuinely tackle the problem. There is a reticence to criticise people who are obese. I understand it but I am afraid that political correctness and the woke movement has contributed to obesity. Society has accepted it. It has become embedded and normalised.

The government allows food manufacturers to continue to produce unhealthy processed foods high in salt and sugar. Junk food abounds on the shelves of supermarkets. It is addictive food. It seems that many have lost the art of cooking from raw, healthy foods to create simple meals that are cheaper and healthier.

It is not enough to report on human obesity, there needs to be an examination of the underlying causes. These will be deep within society. But a lack of desire to work and to keep oneself in good physical condition must be major contributing factors.

"Hospital admissions linked to obesity have doubled in six years to more than 3,000 people per day according to NHS figures that highlight the extent of Britain's weight problem." - The Times.

I have expanded the geographical area where there is a weight problem to Europe and North America. But the same problem exists I believe.

Obese people are far more likely to become ill. Numerous serious illnesses are linked with obesity. Combine the illnesses that are a consequence of obesity and the obesity itself causing lack of mobility and you have a person who is much less able to be a good cat caregiver. Yep, it comes back to pet cats as well. And the truth is that people who are habitually obese tend to normalise it and believe that obese cats are normal-weight cats when they are not. The result? An obesity epidemic among the cat populations of North America and Britain. More ill-health which could and should be avoided with a bit of self-discipline.

What happened to self-discipline? Why has self-indulgence arrived in the scene so dramatically? Is it partly down to a lack of education? It seems that those who've had the benefit of a good education are less likely to become obese.

There may also be an ethnic demographic dimension to this story. Luton is cited as the municipality where there is the biggest health toll from obesity with one hospital admission linked to weight for every 20 residents last year. See the quote below on the ethic mix of Luton.

The white ethnic group makes up 45.2 per cent of the population of Luton meaning there is a non-white majority in the town. The next largest ethnic group is Asian which increased from 60,952 in 2011 to 83,325 in 2021. The Asian group makes up 37 per cent of the population of Luton.

Luton Borough Council
It is time for the UK government to be much bolder and stricter in tackling the obesity epidemic engulfing the country.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 3 November 2023

What happens inside the gut when a cat gets fat?

A study conducted at the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences investigated what happens inside the gut i.e. the stomach and colon of a domestic cat when they eat too much and gain weight.

What happens inside the gut when a cat gets fat?
Fat cat. Image: MikeB (Canva) under license.

High level of feline obesity

The study researchers kicked off with this shocking bit of information: about 60% of cats in the US are overweight. Comment: I thought it was about 40% but the percentage keeps on going up. This extra weight can lead to serious health problems such as type II diabetes and joint problems and chronic inflammation.

11 cats participated in the study and here is another little bit of information which I also find shocking. These cats were fed a standard dry food diet. Dry cat food is known to be somewhat addictive because of the fatty spray they coat the pellets with. And this proved to be the case because they were allowed free access to this dry cat food. And during this time the researchers collected blood and faecal samples at regular intervals and they monitored the cats' activity levels.

Once the cats were allowed to free-feed they ate too much. I find that very strange because my cat doesn't do this and he is allowed a free feed. Perhaps the difference is that these cats were in some sort of research facility where they were allowed to move around but they might have become bored and boredom can lead to overfeeding. My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat and he spends quite a lot of his time outside being active.

To return to these cats. They put on weight fairly quickly. At the beginning of the study, they had average body weights. Using a cat version of human BMI, their BCS scores were 5.41 on a 9-point scale. After 18 weeks of overfeeding their BCS was 8.27. This meant that they were 30% overweight.

Gut microbiota composition

There were significant changes in gut microbiota composition. And the changes were surprising because the gut microbiota composition improved. There was an increase in a bacteria which has antimicrobial activity, which inhibits pathogens and stimulates the immune system. And likewise, there was a decrease in another bacteria which is linked to pro-inflammatory diseases. The former is called Bifidobacterium and the latter is called Collinsella.

The results were the opposite to what has been measured in overweight humans. In other words, when humans gain weight their gut microbiota becomes worse and less effective.

Transit times

This measures the amount of time the food, digested food and faeces remain in the body and travels through the body. The transit time was reduced and so was "digestive efficiency". When a cat eats less food, their stomach extracts more nutrients from the food and vice versa. This is because the food passes through the digestive system faster preventing an efficient extraction of nutrients.

Also course the cats pooped more which is to be expected! And finally, faecal pH decreased which meant that the poop became more acidic when they became fatter. pH measures the acidic and alkaline levels of a substance.

After this study they were put on a controlled restricted diet and they lost weight. The study impliedly found that if you feed dry cat food to a domestic cat you should restrict the diet. In other words, you should control the amount of food they have.
P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 18 August 2023

How do you define "cat obesity"?

When you think of the word "obesity" you think of very fat people or sometimes very fat cats (and I don't mean the human fat cat namely the greedy, alpha male smoking a cigar happy in the knowledge that they have ripped off people to make a large profit).

Just 15% above the normal

But it might surprise people that feline obesity refers to cats with a weight which is 15% above the ideal. That's not much more than 10% above the ideal. You might think that is acceptable. You might not even really notice it and I wouldn't blame you. That's because people, including me, tend to normalise weight gain. You gradually lose your bearings as to what is the correct weight both for yourself and for your companion animal. The problem creeps up on you almost invisibly sometimes.

So, a weight gain of 15% in your cat might not be noticed but a veterinarian would describe your cat as obese. And it might not surprise you that the most prevalent nutritional problem for domestic cats and dogs in Western Europe and the United States is obesity!

You may have heard about the obesity epidemic both in humans and cats and I suspect dogs as well. It affects between 10 and 20% of pet cats but that figure is probably out of date as it is constantly climbing. The figure relates to a book published in 2007. That's long enough ago for the obesity epidemic to become much worse.



The reason for cat obesity might be a medical condition and it should be ruled out before a weight loss program is started. However, in the vast majority of cases weight gain is associated with over-nutrition i.e. feeding too much. The cat is taking in an increased calorific intake or there is a reduced requirement for the body to burn up those calories. The infographic above mentions other issues.

To put it another way, the cat is either eating too much or not burning off enough calories or both. My mind immediately turns to the trend which I believe is taking place in America and in the UK to keep cats indoors full-time. This restricts activity. Cats become bored and they eat addictive foods for pleasure. This is a formula for obesity.

Health problems as a result of feline obesity

And the problems associated with obesity include:

  • Respiratory difficulties
  • decreased cardiac reserve
  • insulin resistance and the development of diabetes
  • poor response to infectious diseases
  • fatty infiltration of the liver
  • increased surgical risk due to increased risk of anaesthesia, fat necrosis, slow wound healing, technical difficulty in performing surgery and
  • feline lower urinary tract disease.

A quite comprehensive list which comes from (verbatim) NUTRITION AND WELFARE in my book The Welfare of Cats Edited by Irene Rochlitz.

Slow weight loss

Veterinarians would provide a word of warning about reducing a cat's weight. It should not be done too fast as this can lead to hepatic lipidosis which itself is a serious disease which can, unless it is turned around, lead to the death of the cat.

Clearly, for an obese cat to lose weight requires self-discipline on the part of the cat's caregiver. It's probably wise to obtain veterinary support to encourage the owner to follow dietary recommendations. This may be crucial to success on occasions.

Eating less is more effective than exercising

In respect of people becoming obese and desiring to lose weight, my personal research indicates that the strongest way to lose weight is to reduce food intake compared to doing more exercise. The latter will certainly help but the former will have a more dramatic effect and it should be a permanent change in diet for the lifetime of the person and the cat!

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