The Problem with Commercial Weight Loss Kibbles...

You may be surprised, but I won't be saying that 'kibble is evil'. I am a fan of science - and science is far cleverer than that...

Many of you with overweight pets may feel like you have tried everything. Vets and nurses, you will have dealt with animals that don't seem to loose weight the way you expect. Why?

Commercial kibble weight loss diets are all trying to make the 'perfect' weight loss diet. Most share the same features - increased soluble and insoluble fibre to improve the feeling of fullness with decreased calories and increased vitamin levels. There are several brands, but they are all very similar. What IS the BEST weight loss diet...?

My partner was watching a lecture on You Tube. It was about humans, but the content spoke to me and made me wonder about dieting dogs...

The Segal Group in Israel have been investigating the glycaemic responses in people after meals. When you eat a meal your body absorbs the food and your blood glucose rises. Your body senses the increased glucose and tells your pancreas to produce insulin to stimulate absorption of glucose into tissues. This lowers the blood glucose. Persistently high glucose puts stress on your pancreas and increases risk of diabetes. If the glucose rises sharply after eating, the insulin release is more dramatic and there is a 'sugar crash' after dinner. This sugar crash can often causes you to feel hungry again - which is important if you are supposed to be on a diet! It's the thing that makes you hungry an hour after a big mac and milkshake meal...

Ask anyone who ever googled 'dieting' - and they will probably tell you that you should avoid 'high glycaemic index' foods to avoid that sugar crash. But here is the problem - it appears that the foods that cause rapid post prandial (after eating) rises in glucose are different in EVERY person.

The Segal group measured the post prandial glucose responses of 800 people eating 46,898 meals. They found that the variability in responses of different people to the SAME meal was dramatic. For example, they found that in meals consisting of bread and butter, the glucose spike was over FIVE TIMES higher in the top 10% of participants than the bottom 10% of participants! The guys at the top are quite likely to have had a 'sugar crash' and were probably starving a few hours later. The guys at the bottom probably weren't. In some individuals, the glucose rise for RICE was higher than that for ICE CREAM!

Ultimately, in any diet, eating less calories will result in weight loss. But the ease with which that happens IS important. I often hear 'well it's easy - you are in control of what your dog eats'... but a dog that is always hungry, is far harder to diet.

What I am getting at here is that all the kibble manufacturers appear to be gunning for the SAME thing. Why??? It's pretty likely that the dogs responses to these foods are NOT the same.

There is probably a good reason that some of the dogs on kibble fail to loose weight even when eating the recommended amount. Yes there are owners who feed half a chicken pie on top, and melt butter into the Obesity kibble to make it tastier - but there are plenty of compliant owners who's dogs appear to really struggle. There is a good chance that these foods really just don't suit them. Perhaps the reason that the owners feel so guilty (and feed half a chicken pie) is because this particular dog had a sugar crash that we don't know about.

There is some resistance to branch away form commercial obesity kibble diets in veterinary practices (not all - but some), but I would suggest that, for many dogs, it is likely that changing the diet away from high fibre low calorie kibble could improve the chances of success. Being more open minded may actually change that dog's life. Our dogs eat raw, most of your dogs probably do if you are reading this page. Although I won't ever say 'all dogs should eat raw', I will say that it is a shame that alternate ways of feeding are underused in situations like this. I suspect that dogs failing to loose weight on a kibble diet MIGHT succeed on a fresh or raw diet. Maybe that is for a clever reason (lower post prandial glucose levels) or maybe its just because Mrs Cook doesn't feel so guilty feeding a fresh diet and therefor avoids the extras - but either way - if it works, we should probably try it more often...

The Problem with Commercial Weight Loss Kibble Diets




  • The RAW Vet