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Good Question: What do dogs know about diets that we don't?

In this country 34% of Americans are obese, and any of them fight the battle by dieting.

Some research taking place at the University of Kentucky looks at why we sometimes fail when it comes to self control.

Good Question: What do dogs know about diets that we don't?

It may look like obedience training, but at the University of Kentucky, Holly Miller is working on research that involves four legged friends that might one day help in our effort to control what we eat.

"I think if we know how diet directly affects self control then in turn affects diet, then maybe we can make a real dent in the obesity epidemic," said Miller.

By studying dogs like Bella, Miller has been able to determine that a lack of glucose, or energy needed to fuel the body may keep us from staying on task when it comes to a diet.

"You need to have the fuel in your system to support your cognitive function," said Miller.

Dogs in the study are given either a glucose drink of a simple sugar or a placebo.

Then dogs like Bella are asked to perform a task, in this case finding the dog cookie.

Miller has found that dogs with the glucose did much better at the task, so how does it relate to self control?

"It could really just mean that the processes that are going on in your brain that say stop don't eat the cupcake, don't eat the cupcake is decreasing your glucose and the glucose is what fuels your neurons to keep sending those messages," said Miller.

Miller says there is a reason we should eat healthy foods that provide longer lasting sources of glucose.

The brain will stay strong and keep us from breaking control and going with the unhealthy choices that knock us off our diet.

"The dogs were failing when they had to exert so much self control, they're not beating themselves up. They just ran out of energy, if we fail our diet its probably because we ran out of energy," said Miller.


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