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Obesity Can Shorten Your Dog’s Lives

"For many owners, giving food, particularly tasty table scraps and tidbits, is the way we show affection for our pets," German said

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A Labrador retriever named Jack dines at a pet restaurant in San Juan, Manila, Philippines, Sept. 6, 2014.
Obesity can cut short your dog's lives. VOA

If you thought that obesity affects only humans, you may be wrong. It can also shorten lives of your canine friends, finds a research.

The research, from the University of Liverpool in the UK, reveals that the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to two-and-half years shorter when compared to ideal-weight dogs.

“Owners are often unaware that their dog is overweight, and many may not realise the impact that it can have on their health,” said Alex German, Professor at the university.

“What they may not know is that if their beloved pet is too heavy, they are more likely to suffer from other problems such as joint disease, breathing issues, and certain types of cancer, as well as having a poorer quality of life. These health and well-being issues can significantly impact how long they live,” he added.

The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, examined more than 50,000 dogs across 12 of the most popular dog breeds.

The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

Although the study did not examine the reasons behind the extra pounds in dogs, feeding habits are thought to play a role in pet obesity.

According to a recent Better Cities For Pets survey, more than half (54 per cent) of cat and dog owners always or often give their pet food if they beg for it, and nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pet to keep them happy.

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“For many owners, giving food, particularly tasty table scraps and tidbits, is the way we show affection for our pets,” German said.

“Being careful about what you feed your dog could go a long way to keeping them in good shape and enabling them to be around for many years to come,” he noted. (IANS)

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Lower Physical Activity in Adulthood Leads to Obesity: Study

Adulthood linked to lower amount of physical activity

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Physical activity obesity
Leaving school and getting a job both lead to a drop in the amount of physical activity. Pixabay

Leaving school and getting a job both lead to a drop in the amount of physical activity and may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, while becoming a mother is linked to increased weight gain, researchers have found.

Many people tend to put on weight as they leave adolescence and move into adulthood and this is the age when the levels of obesity increase the fastest, the study said.

This weight gain is related to changes in diet and physical activity behaviour across the life events of early adulthood, including the move from school to further education and employment, starting new relationships and having children.

Physical activity
Many people tend to put on weight as they leave adolescence and move into adulthood due to less physical activity. Pixabay

“This evidence suggests that the pressures of university, employment and childcare drive changes in behaviour which are likely to be bad for long-term health,” said study researcher Eleanor Winpenny from University of Cambridge in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, researchers looked at changes in physical activity, diet and body weight as young adults move from education into employment and to becoming a parent.

To do this, they carried out systematic reviews and meta-analyses of existing scientific literature.

In the first of the two studies, the research team looked at the evidence relating to the transition from high school into higher education or employment and how this affects body weight, diet and physical activity.

In total, they found 19 studies covering ages 15-35 years, of which 17 assessed changes in physical activity, three body weight, and five diet or eating behaviours.

The team found that leaving high school was associated with a decrease of seven minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

The decrease was larger for males than it was for females (a decrease of 16.4 minutes per day for men compared to 6.7 minutes per day for women).

Physical activity
According to the researchers, most studies including physical activity showed a greater decline in parents versus non-parents. Pixabay

More detailed analysis revealed that the change is largest when people go to university, with overall levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity falling by 11.4 minutes per day.

In the second study, the team looked at the impact of becoming a parent on weight, diet and physical activity.

A meta-analysis of six studies found the difference in change in body mass index (BMI) between remaining without children and becoming a parent was 17 per cent: a woman of average height (164 cm) who had no children gained around 7.5 kg over five to six years, while a mother of the same height would gain an additional 1.3 kg.

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These equate to increases in BMI of 2.8 versus 3.3. According to the researchers, most studies including physical activity showed a greater decline in parents versus non-parents.

The research team found limited evidence for diet, which did not seem to differ between parents and non-parents. (IANS)