Last month the FDA held a hearing as part of legislation passed last year that requires the Center for Veterinary Medicine to create standards for pet food labeling in the next two years. John Branam testified on behalf of the AVMA, and asserted that pet owners don't always know how much to feed, resulting in an epidemic of pet obesity. The AVMA believes labels that include calorie content could help. But Nancy Cook, vice president of the Pet Food Institute's technical and regulatory affairs division, said calorie labels aren't necessary. She said they won't prevent obesity in pets any more than labels prevent obesity in people. Currently the labels indicate serving size. But these are typically over-estimated to avoid having a cat or d*g be underfed. Appetite varies between pets, and some kitties are "easy keepers." In other words, they gain weight on foods that other felines maintain or even lose weight when eating. Calories would allow owners to compare brands more easily. That way, you'll know if one cup of X-brand food contains the same amount as two cups of Z-brand food. That could help owners and veterinarians make more accurate recommendations. Is your cat a tubby tabby? How do you maintain his svelte physique? Do you read labels?
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