On the bookshelf

Publisher: Nottingham University Press, 2011
Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack

The subtitle to this book reveals its contents: "The paradox of pet nutrition." Actually, the book is about both human and animal nutrition. The author asserts that there is a big difference between current animal (and human) nutrition and the diet species have survived on since primitive times.
In the course of the past 10,000 years, humans have discovered and perfected grains. However, on an evolutionary scale, 10,000 years is a very short time. Since our beginnings, people and animals have been built to deal with food shortages, not to tolerate abundance. The genome is not yet adapted to the present availability of energy and of easily-digested carbohydrates.

The author explains why it is not very smart to consume less or no fat when you want to lose weight, pointing out that this is exactly what is happening on a large scale, yet the incidence of obesity keeps increasing. The writer explores why people following the Atkins diet can eat as much fat as they want and yet achieve weight loss. Through anecdotes, he demonstrates that, although pet owners are doing their utmost, they often achieve the wrong results. He also emphasises the importance of behavioural patterns in connection with diet. Chapters are dedicated to various animals (The cat: the paradox at its extreme) and elements of nutrition (Minerals: from rocks to nutrients). In addition, explanations are given regarding the labelling of pet foods, and supplements like probiotics and nutricines.

This food for thought is definitely not for dummies, just as the book itself notes, but rather a volume providing thorough explanations on all aspects of nutrition.

Title: Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack: The Paradox of Pet Nutrition
Author: R Patton
Publisher: Nottingham University Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-904761-72-3