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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Oct;14(10):1762-70.

The PPET Study: people and pets exercising together.

Author information

1
Wellness Institute, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 150 East Huron, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. rkushner@nmh.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Obesity is a significant public health problem that is affecting people and their pets. The human-companion animal bond and the role of pets in providing social support provides a rationale framework for studying the effectiveness of a combined people and pets (PP) exercising together (PPET) weight loss program.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

Thirty-six pairs of overweight or obese people with an obese pet (PP) and 56 overweight or obese people only (PO) participated in a 1-year prospective controlled weight loss study. In a group format, people received dietary and physical activity counseling, and dogs were fed a calorie-controlled prescription diet. Physical activity was recorded using the physical activity recall questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Completion rates at 1 year were 61% for the PP group and 58% for the PO group. Mean weight losses at 12 months using last observation carried forward were 4.7% (PP) and 5.2% (PO). Mean weight loss among the dogs was 15%. Time spent in physical activity increased in both groups to 3.9 (PP) and 3.5 (PO) h/wk. Two-thirds of total physical activity in the PP group was spent with the dogs.

DISCUSSION:

The PPET study is the first program to demonstrate the effectiveness of a combined PP weight loss program. This fresh approach to the dual obesity epidemic builds on the human-companion animal bond. Consideration of social support for weight loss of family members, friends, and coworkers should be extended to include pets.

PMID:
17062806
DOI:
10.1038/oby.2006.203
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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