A recent study has found that obese dogs can offer new insights into obesity. Just like us, some canines are more prone to uncontrolled weight gain than others.
A group of researchers in Hungary asked volunteers to bring their dogs. Some dogs were average weight while others were obese. Scientists first gave each dog a bowl with a meal that is not very filling for a dog, aka as “low-value” meal.
Afterward, the team would bring two other bowls: one empty, while another one containing a tasty meal. Pet owners were asked to instruct their pets to wait for the third bowl to make a decision.
Researchers suspected that the animals would wait for the last bowl to appear to have a tasty and fulfilling meal. But, in reality, that wasn’t the case. The dogs that had been diagnosed with obesity gorged on the low-value meal, having little to no patience in waiting for something better.
The Findings Need More Research
It is unclear if humans would act similarly to dogs when it comes to picking their meals. But the study suggests that obese people would rather eat the immediate meal when they aren’t 100% sure that something better would appear.
Animals select the first meal in sight by instinct because they are not sure that they’ll have the next meal later and they could go hungry. But in the Western world, there’s unlimited access to food for both pets and humans, so patience is a virtue.
Nevertheless, researchers acknowledged that the findings need extra research since dog obesity and human obesity have some differences. The new theory needs to be tested on humans first since the human weight is determined by genetics, level of physical activity, access to healthy food, and emotional factors.
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