It is no secret that Americans have grown increasingly heavier, with the average body mass index increasing from about 25 in the early 1960’s to around 28 in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC considers adults with BMIs between 25 and 29.9 to be overweight. All races, genders, and even age groups have become increasingly heavier. Unfortunately, the trend has also spread to the pet and animal population. With the bellies of animals expanding, so too is our understanding of the causes. To help, we have gathered the top 50 reads for understanding the animal obesity epidemic. They include causes, tips for spotting obese animals, and even how to keep your pet healthy. Top News Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic Read about the animal obesity items that made the headlines below.
    1. Obesity on the Rise in Animals : : According to MSNBC, the growing weight problem isn’t just confined to humans. Researcher David Allison of the University of Alabama, Birmingham is searching for a correlation between human obesity and animal obesity. The article outlines his theories and studies. 2. Lab Animals and Pets Face Obesity Epidemic : A quick read of Scientific American tells that animals in human care are fatter than they were 20 years ago. Not just affecting pets, animals living in close proximity to humans and animals housed in research centers are all heavier. Environmental factors may also come into play. 3. Animals Getting Fatter Too : Did you know that rats living on the streets of Baltimore were 40 percent heavier in 2006 than in 1948? This article from Discovery has that and more interesting tidbits. Also included are expert opinions and findings. 4. Five Reasons Why the Obesity Epidemic is Spreading to Animals : According to Planet Green, there is more than one reason for the animal obesity epidemic. Although table scraps and lifestyle are part of it, they are by no means the only reason. Toxins in the water supply and even a disruption in migration are also thought to be causes. 5. Most Pet Dogs are Too Fat : It isn’t just American pets who are part of the obesity epidemic. “The Telegraph” is a U.K. based paper that finds similar results locally. This specific article found that six out of ten British dogs are classified as overweight or obese. 6. Junk Food is Causing Pet Obesity Epidemic : “The Telegraph” also takes into account this cause of animal obesity. They report that pet owners are increasingly feeding their animals a dangerously unhealthy diet of junk food, including curry, pizza, and ice-cream. These animals are also reported on as having increased health issues. 7. Animal Obesity, The Next Big Health Crisis : This story is reported on by Natural News. Ethan Hunt reports that even monkeys are heavier now. There are also many related obesity stories. 8. The Fat Cat Cometh : One would think that The Economist was writing about rich bureaucrats, but animal obesity is the topic of this article. In attempts to explain the growing epidemic of obesity in humans, scientists are turning to animals. The report examines studies by scientists examining what role stress, climate change, and artificial light plays.
Top Bizarre Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic These entries on animal obesity stand out on their own.
    9. Rescue Center Steps in to Slim Down Obese Orangutan : According to CNN, a South African orangutan has become so fat on her diet of marshmallows that she’s been taken to England to lose weight. Weighing in at over 220 pounds, she weighs twice as much as she should. The article and video have more. 10. Prince Chunk : He is a cat that became a media sensation in August of 2008. A New Jersey Animal shelter took him in after being deserted by his owner after a foreclosure and weighed in at 44 pounds, the average weight for a cat being seven to eleven pounds. Ultimately, his weight became his demise as reported on by The National Examiner. 11. Heavy Hounds : If reading about the animal obesity epidemic isn’t enough, click here. Live Science actually has a gallery of images of obese dogs. Simply visit to view pictures as well as an informative caption for each. 12. World’s Fattest Cat : A local television station reports on Mitsy the cat. She weighs in at 49 pounds. Must see images and video follow. 13. World’s Fattest Dog : Cats aren’t the only ones affected by the animal obesity epidemic. This dog from the U.K. is large enough to be mistaken for a pig. Owner commentary is also featured. 14. Top 10 World’s Fattest Animals : Haven’t seen enough? Than visit this article from “The Sun.” It shows the world’s fattest animals including a pigeon, porcupine, and pig. 15. Fat Animals : This blog continues in the tradition of the above. An obese animal is featured along with a profile. Visit to see the latest, or send in your own picture.
Top Blog Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic These blog entries contain even more on the animal obesity epidemic.
    16. Canary in the Coal Mine : Obesity Panacea is a popular blog dealing with obesity. It is authored by a PhD student who is researching the link between sedentary time and chronic disease risk in youth. In this blog entry, he takes on animal obesity. 17. Obese Animals : Calorie Lab is a leading blog for dieters and those who want to know more about what goes in their food. In this blog entry, they take on the “FBMI” or feline body mass index. Ways to tell if your cat is overweight are discussed. 18. Lessons From an Obese Hedgehog : If you and your pet are obese, check out this blog entry. Diet Blog is committed to getting people to eat right and get healthy. This particular post uses hedgehogs as inspiration. 19. Man’s Best Friend or Beer Belly Buddy : Val Heart & Friends strives to get owners better behaved and healthier pets. Val gives her analysis on the animal obesity epidemic along with tips for owners. There are also many related entries. 20. Fat Pets : Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet twenty-five years ago and spends his time writing a blog for “The Telegraph.” From Ireland, he takes on the animal obesity epidemic in this entry. He writes about what owners should do to keep their pets healthy. 21. Obesity in Pets : The Paw Blog has tips for everything from antibiotics to spaying. In this entry, the topic of obesity in pets is examined. An FAQ is shared and is helpful. 22. Killing With Kindness is Still Killing : That is how this blogger at Pet Crash views pet obesity. K9 Media passionately pleas for owners to treat their pets more humanely, even if it means denying them extra food. There are even five steps to help dogs lose weight. 23. Fireflies in the Cloud : Writer Matt Dinniman had nothing to say in this particular blog entry. So instead he shared a bunch of pictures of obese animals. Click to check out cats, dogs, and wilder obese entries. 24. 30 Bananas a Day : If you feel like animal obesity is a non-issue, you aren’t alone. This blogger takes a unique look at the epidemic, along with topics they feel are more important. She also links to the original article that got her going.
Top Health Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic These offering focus on animal obesity as a health issue.
    25. Weight Loss Tools : The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention is dedicated to getting pets thinner. Among their many offerings are these weight loss tools just for pets. They include a pet weight translator, step weight loss program, treats, and more. 26. Pet Health : The folks at Pets-ercise specialize in dog walking and pet sitting. After a visit to the dog park, the blogger noticed the increased number of overweight dogs. Quick tips and pointers are also included. 27. Is Fido Fat? : Stephanie Pappas is a Live Science senior writer. In this entry, she gives tips on how human diet tricks can help slim down animals. Both food and exercise are discussed. 28. Pet Health Care Gazette : This site specializes in keeping pets healthy from A to Z. The obesity and overweight epidemic is discussed as well as the health risks for the animals. There are sections on why being overweight is dangerous, how to tell if your pet is overweight, determining proper body weight, and more. 29. National Pet Obesity Awareness : With an awareness day for just about everything, pet obesity is not an exception. Maria Goodavage is the writer of “For the Love of Dog Blog” and has more to say about it. She also includes the risks obese pets face. 30. Overweight Dogs : The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is well known for their efforts on the behalf of animal health. In this offering, they discuss the problem of overweight dogs. Eight must read facts are shared. 31. Overweight Cats : Not to be left out, the ASPCA also gives tips for owners of overweight cats. Nine tips and facts are shared, along with many other entries for cat owners. 32. Obese Pets on the Rise : The experts at Animal Medical Hospital provide 24 hour care to pets in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this blog entry, they take on the animal obesity epidemic. There are also many other tips for pet owners. 33. Dog Obesity : The National Institutes of Health have also noticed the animal obesity epidemic. In this published expert opinion, they examine the attitudes and behaviors of dog owners. Results are shared. 34. Vets Concerned at Rise in Porky Pets : The animal obesity epidemic has even spread to other parts of the world. In the Pet Pages section of this Australian offering, they are also noticing a rise in pet weight. Several locals are interviewed.
Top Diet Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic Knowing more about pet food can help you better understand the animal obesity epidemic.
    35. Food and Calories : Part of keeping a healthy pet is knowing what the caloric intake of their food is. Use this free tool from the APOP to get the calorie contents of many popular foods. They include canned, pouched, and dry foods for dogs and cats. 36. Sugar Additives : Not only found in human foods, these additives can help contribute to pet obesity. The ASPCA takes a closer look at the link between sugar and weight gain. There is also tons of other information for pet owners. 37. Canine and Feline Nutrition : Dr. Lorie Huston gives the basics on nutrients for dogs and cats. The six essential nutrients, along with where they are found, are shared. There are also many other blog posts on nutrition. 38. The Role of Nutrition in Heart Disease : It’s not just people, pets are also subject to heart disease. With diet playing a huge role, Caroline outlines the signs of heart disease in pets. She also shares how nutrition can help. 39. The Overweight Pet : Know what to feed your pet by knowing how they eat. The Pet Center outlines the type of eaters including the Nibbler, Beggar, Good Dog, and Gourmet Dog. Tips and definitions for each are discussed. 40. What Not to Feed Your Pet : The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention gives tips for owners on what not to feed their pets. Among the forbidden foods were certain treats, bones, wieners, and more. They even showed the caloric equivalent to what people eat. 41. Weight Loss Questions : Is it a while before your next vet visit? Then visit here to get Doctors Foster and Smith’s answers to many common weight loss questions. They include calorie content, obesity, and even how fast you can expect to see results. 42. Weight Loss Handout : This PDF is offered to vets who have overweight patients. Download the brochure yourself by visiting this link. It is authored by Dr. Ernie Ward. 43. Dangerous People Food : They might be good for you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be toxic for pets. Visit this site to get a list of foods to not feed your pet. Some regular and lesser known foods are on the list.
Top DIY Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic Take matters into your own hands when dealing with animal obesity with the help of the below.
    44. Homemade Diets : Pet Diets is a place where owners can come to learn more about animal nutrition. In this section, they offer an interactive online tool to create and download homemade diets for your healthy cat or dog. A nutrition consultation is required. 45. Library of Pet Obesity : If you still haven’t read enough about pet obesity, click here. Nulo is a provider of natural foods for dogs and cats. A virtual library is full of expert articles on nutrition, fitness, and more. 46. Dog Health Center : This guide is offered by the experts at Animal Planet. Veterinary specialists weigh in on food labels, treats, and much more for dogs. There are also loads of other stuff for animal lovers. 47. Cat Health Center : Not to be outdone, there is also this guide for cats. Choose from information on everything from organ systems to first aid. You can even ask cat related questions. 48. DIY Dog Food : If you thought Allrecipes has a listing for everything, you’re right. In this offering, animal lovers share their recipes for healthy dog food you can make at home. They include recuperation food, a casserole, meatloaf, and more. 49. DIY Cat Food : Lisa Pierson is a veterinarian and shares loads of advice for cat owners. Clicking here gives you a comprehensive guide on making your own cat food. You can also get more information on the store bought kind. 50. No Cans : This site was inspired by the pet food recall of 2007. The author includes recipes for dogs and cats, including items just for kittens. They also discuss the dangers of food items that are not safe for pets.
Although there are many useful entries above, be sure and consult a veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet or following the advice of any of the above top 50 reads for understanding the animal obesity epidemic. The vet can also tell you if your pet is indeed overweight or obese, along with any special diet needs they may have.
Remember the character Doctor Mephisto from “South Park” who does such useful things with animals as combine them with a block of cheese? No longer the stuff of science fiction or potty humor, transgenic animals are a reality. With uses for everything from food to medicine, these genetically modified species have as many proposed uses as they do controversy surrounding them. Unforeseen repercussions, the accusation of playing god, and much more are linked with the practice of breeding or cloning them. To help make sense of it all, we have gathered 25 great articles and blogs about transgenic animals. Whether looking to learn more or just get more information on the basics, they have loads on the latest in transgenic animals. Great Blogs About Transgenic Animals These blogs are wholly or partially devoted to the subject of transgenic animals.
    1. The Center for Food Safety : They work to protect human health and the environment by curbing the proliferation of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. Categories on the blog range on everything from cloning to sewage sludge. You can also get a shopper’s guide and view the other members of the True Food Network. They recently just launched a new mobile app for those who want to learn more. 2. Civil Eats : This organization promotes critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems as part of building economically and socially just communities. Sections of the blog include technology, eating culture, food policy, and much more. There are also several sub-blogs to choose from. 3. Transgenic Fly Virtual Lab : Think the science of transgenic animals is over your head? Then stop by this virtual laboratory from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The purpose is to familiarize visitors with the science and technique for making transgenic flies. Virtual steps involve preparing DNA, fly embryos, injection, breeding, selection, and light output. 4. International Society for Transgenic Technologies : See how the ISTT is using transgenic science to further many areas of study here. The latest news is featured on their homepage and current topics include latest developments and symposiums. They also have other resources available online. 5. Issues in Biotechnology : ActionBioscience.org is a site that examines issues including education, developments, and more. Topics to choose from include biodiversity, environment, genomics, and evolution. Regular articles are contributed and sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Be sure not to miss the entry on “Transgenic Animals: Their Benefits to Human Welfare.” 6. Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development : The OECD brings together countries to support economic growth, raise living standards, and assist other countries in financial development. With biotechnology at the forefront of their mission, they have been working on the topic for over 25 years. Read the latest news in the area with a visit here. 7. GM Organisms : New Scientist is a magazine and website devoted to scientific study. In this series of articles, you can read all about genetically modified organisms and transgenic animals. They offer an introduction, as well as the latest headlines. Videos are also included. 8. Genetic Modification News : Science Daily brings the latest research news to one place, with the site updated several times an hour. They have a special section for genetic modification and already have over 600 stories on it in their archives. The newest revolve around salamanders, DNA analysis, and a popular tree protein. 9. Biotechnololgy : Scientific American is famous for such offerings as 60 Second Science, as well as other podcasts and blogs. They also keep on top of the latest developments in biotechnology and report on all of it here. Podcast entries are currently on arctic genes and the brain, while popular written entries on the subject revolve around researching protein folding and Ebola virus genes.
Great Articles About Transgenic Animals The below articles teach even more about transgenic animals as well as offer a few opinions.
    10. Top 10 Eccentric Transgenic Animals : Get a look at the transgenic animals we may be introduced to in the upcoming years from the Discovery Channel. They look at animals that can glow, make silk, and more. Hint: the very first will have you thinking of the horse from “The Wizard of Oz.” 11. Tasty Transgenics : In an entry from The Scientist, they take a look at how transgenic animals can be used to increase the food supply while decreasing prices. Several projects including transgenic pigs and salmon are reviewed. They even link to other useful articles such as big fish, mutant cows, and flu-resistant birds. 12. Monsato Co. vs. Geerston Seed Farms : This is one of the first cases in the United States Supreme Court to involve transgenic food. The case involved a genetically modified alfalfa crop and its impact on the environment. In addition to SCOTUS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies weighed in on the decision. The justices would vote seven to one with Justice Stevens dissenting and Justice Breyer not participating. There is also a link to the oral argument. 13. Transgenic Animals : This online article was published in 2009. It contains many hypotheses on the uses and current practices regarding transgenic animals. Different methods of development are discussed, along with the use of transgenic science in sheep, chickens, pigs, and primates. 14. Transgenic Animals FAQ : Basic and frequently asked questions on transgenic animals are answered by the Biotechnology Industry Organization. The definition, uses, and even aquaculture are discussed further. The main site also has more resources on the subject. 15. The Food Safety of Transgenic Animals : With all this genetic manipulation, how safe are these animals? That is the question sought to be answered in the reprint of an article by D.B. Berkowitz on the Ion Channel. A short article, it analyzes how genetically modified animals seem relatively as safe as traditional, but the requirements for both need to be lifted. 16. Transgenic Animals for Food Not Proven Safe : The Institute of Science in Society takes a look at the same issue. Using the FDA’s guidelines on the commercial release of transgenic animals, they conclude that they are not safe. Use of them as pharmaceutical bioreactors, xenotransplantation, and other areas of science are also evaluated. 17. Potential Environmental Problems with Animal Biotech : On the other end of the spectrum, the National Academy of Sciences reports that products from cloned livestock have not been proven unsafe for humans. The case of cloned cattle and others was discussed. However with a publication date of 2002, it may be outdated.
Great Sites About Transgenic Animals The below sites offer even more on the topic of transgenic animals.
    18. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service : This agency is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their role in biotechnology is to regulate certain genetically engineered organisms that may pose a risk to plant or animal health. It also participates in programs that use biotechnology to identify and control both animal and plant pests. Visit the site to learn more about regulatory services, importing and exporting transgenic animals, obtaining licenses for veterinary biologics, and much more. 19. ArkDB : The database at the Ark seeks to perform a similar task of the biblical Noah’s ark: to provide genome mapping data for many species of animals. Specifically farmed and other animal species generally used by humans. Visit to get the data for entries such as cats, chickens, horses, pigs, sheep, and more. 20. Biomedcode : See how transgenic animals can be used to diagnose and treat diseases in humans here. The drug company does evaluations of complex transgenic animals models of human inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more. Get models, services, and publications with just a click. 21. Transgenic Animal Model Core : This virtual animal laboratory is provided by the University of Michigan. Get answers to commonly asked questions on the subject by experts. You can also view more on subjects such as transgenic rats, publications, and genotyping mice. 22. Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture : The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is focused on ending hunger across the world. In this section of the site, they gather the latest news in biotechnology and transgenic animals. They also post their official statement on the subject, documents related to it, a glossary, and more. 23. BUAV : This British organization works to end all experimentation on animals. The latest news is often listed right on the homepage. You can also check out their current investigations, campaigns, and policy. There is also a section on humane science. 24. Genetic Rights Foundation : The GRF seeks to define new forms of scientific and technological development. Genetic rights often take center stage and activities involve providing information, research, and publishing. Check out their latest research objectives to learn more. 25. The Food Safety of Transgenic Animals : If you still haven’t read enough about transgenic animals, click here. The experts at Nature.com have gathered loads of articles and blog entries on the subject. Just some of the entries to choose from include “Genetics in the Pasture,” “Altering the Genome,” and “Genetic Variation in Natural Populations.”
Although no transgenic animals are currently legal for human consumption, the topic is still at the forefront. As you can read in the above 25 great articles and blogs about transgenic animals, they can be used for far more than food and in areas such as medicine, energy, and other important areas so it is important to read as much as possible before offering an opinion.