One potential tool in the fight against obesity has four legs, a wagging tail, and a leash. A small but growing number of research studies is demonstrating how extensive a role the beloved canine can play in helping humans lose weight and become more fit.
“We have 65 million dogs in US households,” says Jacqueline Epping, MEd, lead health scientist in the Physical Activity and Health Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, Ga. “If more people walked their dogs, we could be taking better advantage of a strategy [to lose weight] that's right at our feet.”
Voelker R. Studies Suggest Dog Walking a Good Strategy for Fostering Fitness. JAMA. 2006;296(6):643. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.643