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Fair to raise awareness about obesity in humans, pets

Region There are many health issues that face both humans and their pets, and obesity is one of them.

    On Saturday Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine will host an obesity awareness fair that is free and open to the public. SCAVMA President Lauren Baker is a third-year student studying for a degree in veterinary medicine.

    “Obesity is such a huge issue not only in humans but in animals as well,” Baker said. “And this event is designed to raise awareness about these issues.”

    The fair has been inspired by the national “One Health Initiative,” which seeks to promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians and other scientific health professionals, according to the One Health Initiative’s website.

    More than 400 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians worldwide have endorsed the initiative.

    Annie Shea, a third-year student in the doctor of veterinary medicine and master’s of public health program, organized the fair with help from Baker. Although there is no group officially affiliated with the One Health Initiative on campus, Shea and Baker have been in contact with the organization about the event.

    Shea said that physicians and veterinarians study similar subjects and she thinks it is important for the two to collaborate, especially with so many viruses being transmitted by animals or insects. For instance, it was a veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo that identified the West Nile Virus, Shea said.

    There are also swine flu, avian flu and Lyme disease to keep in mind. 

    “One of the things I’ve noticed is that the veterinarian community believes they have an impact on public health issues,” Shea said, “and this is an opportunity for the veterinary community to show students in other [medicine and health] programs what vets have to add to public health.”

    There will be many interactive and educational tables set up by students of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and students of the greater Tufts University community, businesses and other groups.

    Both Shea and Baker are pleased to work with students from other programs at Tufts that normally wouldn’t interact with each other to put on this event for the community.

    “We are really excited to meet other people interested in public health,” Shea said. “When you get students involved like this, … [they] can make a difference when they become veterinarians, doctors, policy makers or scientists.”

    The booths at the fair will educate guests about obesity in both animals and humans. Purina, the pet food company, will have a table set up to educate people on the body mass index of their pets, another booth will have samples of healthy snacks for kids, and there will also be cooking demonstrations.

    A presentation “Heart Disease Comparisons: Humans and Dogs” will be given by Dr. John Rush at 11 a.m. and Dr. Lisa Freeman will give a presentation of “Reading Pet Food Labels” at 11:30 a.m. There will also be a presentation by Julie MacCartee, “How Our Food Choices Affect the Environment” at noon.

    Also at noon will be a showing of a documentary “King Corn.”

    A local foods barbecue will run from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with free produce provided by local farms. Donations will come from Caledonia Farm, Nourse Farm, Houldon Farm and Tufts Farm. 

    Dogs are invited to this event if they are healthy and on a leash. If it rains, the event will happen inside and dogs will not be allowed.

    For more information, go to www.tufts.edu/vet/scavma.

only in humans but in animals as well,” Baker said. “And this event is designed to raise awareness about these issues.”

The fair has been inspired by the national “One Health Initiative,” which seeks to promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians and other scientific health professionals, according to the One Health Initiative’s website.

Annie Shea, a third-year student in the doctor of veterinary medicine and master’s of public health program, organized the fair with help from Baker. Although there is no group officially affiliate d wit h th e One Health Initiative on campus, Shea and Baker have been in contact with the organization about the event.

There will be many interactive and educational tables set up by students of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and students of the greater Tufts University community, businesses and other groups.

The booths at the fair will educate guests about obesity in both animals and humans.

A presentation “Heart Disease Comparisons: Humans and Dogs” will be given by Dr. John Rush at 11 a.m. and Dr. Lisa Freeman will give a presentation of “Reading Pet Food Labels” at 11:30 a.m. There will also be a presentation by Julie MacCartee, ìHow Our Food Choices Affect the Environmentî at noon.

A local foods barbecue will run from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with free produce provided by local farms. Donations will come from Caledonia Farm, Nourse Farm, Houldon Farm and Tufts Farm.

Dogs are invited to this event if they are healthy and on a leash. If it rains, the event will happen inside and dogs will not be allowed.

For more information, go to www.tufts.edu/vet/scavma.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=5656

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