Posted April 12, 2019 08:19:24New research published in the journal PLOS ONE reveals that dogs and cats can help people lose weight, which could help them maintain health in the long term.
The study involved the use of food and exercise to help obese people lose over 40kg over a 12-month period.
The team looked at the impact of a number of diets and exercise methods to see how they could be effective in achieving the weight loss.
Dr Gisela Ketterer, from the Department of Animal and Plant Health, University of New South Wales, said the research had provided important information for the healthcare professionals.
“The benefits of diet and exercise can be both immediate and long-term.
It is well known that obesity is associated with a range of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and osteocerebral fractures.”
We know that weight loss can improve the health of the whole body and help prevent and manage these conditions.
“This study provides the first evidence that weight-loss interventions can reduce cardiovascular disease risk, improve quality of life and reduce the risk of developing a range, chronic, and lifelong chronic conditions,” she said.
Dr Ketterers team found that obese people who started with a diet that consisted of just one diet type, with no exercise, were able to maintain their weight loss for over 12 months.
“They had an improved waistline, reduced waist circumference, improved bone mineral density and a lower body mass index,” she explained.
“While the majority of the diet type and exercise were different, a few diet types were similar.”
As the study was conducted in a laboratory setting, the results were subject to a number in-house controls, which included the presence of a pet, physical activity levels and lifestyle.
“Dr Ketteerers team also found that those with a high BMI, were significantly more likely to lose weight than those with normal BMI.”
Obesity and diabetes are the two most common chronic conditions in Ireland and in this study we found that the two conditions were closely linked, even when the diet was very different.
“Our findings also show that the effect of a diet was stronger for those who are obese than those who have normal BMI.”
Dr Keeran O’Connor, a research fellow at the University of Limerick, said he was “absolutely blown away” by the study.
“What this research shows is that you can get a big weight loss with just a few dietary changes, even though the overall diet is the same,” he said.
“If you have a very healthy diet, you will not be in any serious risk of getting a heart attack.”
These findings are great news for anyone that has diabetes or a heart condition.
“Dr O’Conor said the results showed that it was not just a diet, but also exercise that could be a big part of a healthy diet.”
I think that exercise is the single most important aspect of a weight loss programme, and exercise is also the single best way to prevent cardiovascular disease,” he explained.
Dr O’,Connor said it was important to keep in mind that exercise was not a cure, but was a key component of a long-lasting weight loss plan.”
There are many factors that contribute to the success of a programme such as physical activity and eating well,” he added.”
It is important to understand the impact that diet and physical activity can have on a person’s weight loss and the overall health of their body.
“Dr Karen Murphy, the senior research fellow and author of the study, said that the study’s findings could have practical applications for people struggling with obesity.”
People who are overweight have higher levels of insulin and are at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.
This can lead to the development of the disease.
“In addition, overweight people tend to smoke and are more likely than other groups to be at risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer,” she added.
Dr Murphy said there were a number health benefits to a healthy lifestyle, including being active and having a good diet.
Dr Keers team hope that their findings will be used to inform other weight loss programmes and health policies.
“More research is needed on this, as we know there is a need for more interventions for people who are trying to lose excess weight, and those who wish to maintain or increase their weight,” she concluded.