Study shows dogs can help people lose weight

by Leanne Thompson on June 17, 2009

exercise_with_dogIs it really possible that we can ditch the gym and battle our bulges with the help of our dogs? According to one study featured in the journal Obesity, yes it really is.

Dr. Robert Kushner is an expert in human obesity and a professor of medicine. Earlier this week, we discussed Kushner’s comments on beating obesity with a dog.

His belief is backed by a study he co-authored a few years ago.  The study was designed to discover whether dogs really could help people to lose weight and involved comparing weight losses by 56 overweight participants working alone and 36 overweight people partnered with an obese dog.

The dogs were provided with a calorie-controlled diet.  Based upon their age and dog breed, the animals were then given a maintenance diet once their ideal weight was achieved.

The humans were provided with diet counselling and were encouraged to walk 30 minutes three times per week.

Those with dogs were found to be more active.  Twelve months later, this group of people had lost on average 4.7% of body weight or 11 pounds.  The dogs had lost on average 15% of body weight or 12 pounds.

Kushner has commented that dogs to motivate people to stick with the exercise and diet.  Those in the dog buddy partnership said the dog gave them an extra incentive and also made it more pleasurable.  According to Kushner, both of these factors are good indications of a successful and sustainable program.

A good diet and exercise plan is important for dogs and humans alike, so why not?

Filed under: News
Leanne ThompsonPost Author
"Study shows dogs can help people lose weight" was written by Leanne Thompson
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1 Comment »

  1. Dogs are a great way to combat obesity in children too, as taking a dog for a walk gives kids the incentive they need to exercise.

    Comment by Rachel — September 24, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

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