‘Supersize me’ : on equine obesity

Sillence, M.N. (2012) ‘Supersize me’ : on equine obesity. The Veterinary Journal, 194(2), pp. 137-138.

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There’s nothing like travel to broaden the mind. As a young man living in Britain during the 1980s I thought I knew about human obesity, but it took a visit to the US to show me what an epidemic looks like. Nowadays I live in Australia, where human obesity is rife. We have plenty of fat horses too (Sillence et al., 2006), but they are noticeable. In fact, it was only recently during a return visit to Britain, that I was finally sold on the concept of an equine obesity epidemic.

It seems that in the UK, the fat horse or pony is now so commonplace that it has come to represent the norm in the eyes of many owners. I met clinicians who claim to have forgotten what a fit horse looks like, and heard anecdotes of a responsible owner who kept their animals in a healthy body condition, only to be reported to the RSPCA for ‘cruelty’. Round and shiny have become the order of the day and, as we have learned from the tsunami of human obesity, once a problem reaches a certain scale it can seem unstoppable, despite the attendant risks, costs and consequences.

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ID Code: 55372
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: obesity
DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.08.004
ISSN: 1090-0233
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2012 01:04
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2012 21:19

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