Obesity is at epidemic levels worldwide. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that by 2018 the cost of treating weight-related illnesses will double to almost $350 billion a year. A 2010 report by the U.S. Surgeon General estimates that two-thirds of American adults and almost one in three children are now overweight or obese. Similar statistics emphasize the staggering problem in other industrialized countries.
This volume originated in a special 2009 symposium funded in part by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) and sponsorship from Mars-Waltham© on how human-animal interaction may help fight obesity across the lifespan. It provides systematic presentation of the scientific evidence for this powerful expression of the benefits of the human-animal bond. The volume will be especially valuable as a source-book of evidence-based studies for public health professionals treating overweight humans and veterinarians treating obese dogs.