The PPET Study: people and pets exercising together.

Wellness Institute, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 150 East Huron, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 4.39). 11/2006; 14(10):1762-70. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2006.203
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.
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.
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.
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.

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    • "The role that researchers considered the social constructs to play in obesity prevention was reflected in the placement of the construct along the intervention pathway. Two of the thirty studies reviewed featured social relational constructs (social networks [30] and social support [35]) as intervention targets. Of the studies which featured social support as the social relational construct, twelve of these operationalized social support as an ancillary resource with the remaining seven studies operationalizing social support as a channel. "
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