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Overweight in dogs, but not in cats, is related to overweight in their owners

By M. L. Nijland, F. Stam, J. C. Seidell

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Abstract

Objective

To quantify the environmental component of aetiology of overweight and obesity by examining the relationship between the degree of overweight in dogs and cats and the degree of overweight in their owners.

Design

Cross-sectional study. Main outcome measures of the owners were weight, height (stature) and BMI. Of the animals, weight and divergence from ideal weight were measured by a veterinarian.

Setting

Three veterinary clinics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Subjects

Dogs and cats, together with their owners, who visited the veterinary clinic. Dogs and cats had to be older than 1 year, and their owners had to be at least 21 years old. After exclusion, there remained forty-seven pairs of dogs and their owners and thirty-six pairs of cats and their owners.

Results

We found a significant relationship between the degree of overweight of dogs and the BMI of their owners (r = 0·31). Correction for length of ownership, gender and age of the animal, and gender, age, education level and activity score of the owner did not materially affect this relationship. However, after correction for the amount of time the dog was being walked each day, this relationship disappeared. No significant relationship was found between the degree of overweight of cats and the BMI of their owners.

Conclusions

The degree to which dogs are overweight is, in contrast to the degree to which cats are overweight, related to the BMI of their owners.

Date 2010
Publication Title Pediatric physical therapy
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 102-6
ISBN/ISSN 1475-2727 (Electronic)1368-9800 (Linking)
DOI 10.1017/s136898000999022x
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Medicine, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Adults
  2. Age
  3. Animals
  4. Body mass
  5. Cat diseases
  6. Cats
  7. Cross-Sectional Studies
  8. Dog diseases
  9. Dogs
  10. Environment
  11. Females
  12. Health behavior
  13. Human-animal bond
  14. Humans
  15. Males
  16. open access
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Physical Condition
  19. Sex Distribution
  20. Walking
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed