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Survey Reveals America’s Chubbiest Pet Cities

TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 11, 2012) – Today, NBC’s "The Biggest Loser" host Alison Sweeney and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, makers of Science Diet® and Prescription Diet® pet foods, kick-off the Million Pound Pledge – a national call-to-action for pet owners to help their cats and dogs lose weight and get back on track to living a happy, healthy lifestyle. Join Alison in taking the pledge by visiting through March 30 and enter for the chance to meet her at "The Biggest Loser" live finale in May.

"Living a healthy lifestyle is important for my family and that includes my dog," said Alison Sweeney. "One out of every two pets is overweight, and my dog Winky was one of them. I started using Science Diet pet foods to help Winky lose weight and now I want to share my personal experience to inspire owners across America so they too can achieve the same success."

As part of the Million Pound Pledge, participating owners will gain access to a support system1 that includes:

  • Two live video chat sessions on the Science Diet Facebook page with Alison Sweeney to share pet weight loss stories (January 26 and March 20 – visit the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Facebook page for more details)
  • Cat and dog weight loss tips from Alison Sweeney
  • Interactive body condition scoring that shows the proper body shape of a cat or dog
  • Weight and treat comparisons that translate pet weight gain and feeding into human terms
  • Rebates for Hill’s® Science Diet® and Hill’s® Prescription Diet® weight management foods

Why the Million Pound Pledge? Chubby pets are no laughing matter. Obesity in America started with adults, trickled down to children and is now affecting our pets. A staggering 54 percent of America’s pet population is overweight and at risk for heart disease, diabetes and a shortened life expectancy2. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, partnered with Kelton Research to conduct a survey3 to better understand the cities where pets are in the most need of help. The survey revealed:

  • When it comes to the chubbiest pet city, Los Angeles ranks number one, according to the Chubby Pet Index4. Rounding out the top five cities are Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco. For a full list of the top 20 cities visit
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of pet owners say their cat or dog is currently chubby. Consulting a vet is always the first step in getting your pet started on a weight-loss program, plus there are sites like that offer tips and tools to help manage your pet’s weight.
  • Only about half (49 percent) of dog and cat owners are engaging their animals in exercise at least once a day. A brisk walk in the park with your dog or shining a flashlight on the floor or wall to encourage your cat to play for just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference to their health.
  • Nearly three in five (61 percent) pet owners say their pet currently or in the past has needed to lose weight, and decreasing the amount of food (44 percent) is the most popular method they use to help their pets lose weight. However, when it comes to feeding your pet, consider switching to a pet food that provides precisely balanced nutrition to help pet’s achieve and maintain their ideal weight like Science Diet® Light.
  • Nearly half of pet owners (45 percent) give their cats and dogs pet treats at least once a day – treats between meals can help contribute to the extra one or two pounds that your pet may be holding onto so be sure to account for them during meal time. And you can always swap out some treats with verbal and physical praise to keep pets happy and feeling loved.
  • Free feeding is common for many pet owners (42 percent), but what they may not realize is that this is also a fast way to derail their pet’s weight management plan. Creating a feeding schedule is a more viable option to keep dogs and cats at a healthier weight.

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. manufactures Hill’s® Prescription Diet® brand pet foods, therapeutic pet foods available only through veterinarians, and Hill’s® Science Diet® brand pet foods sold through veterinarians and finer pet specialty stores. Founded more than 60 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s produces high-quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc., and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition™ visit

About Alison Sweeney
Alison Sweeney is busy juggling three jobs - hosting her 10th season of NBC’s hit reality series "The Biggest Loser," host and executive producer of TV Guide Network’s upcoming series "Hollywood Moms Night" (which premieres March 2012) and starring for her 19th year as the award-winning Sami Brady on NBC’s hit daytime drama "Days of our Lives." She's also a producer, author, wife and mother. Her latest book, The Mommy Diet, reveals the "diet" of nutrition, fitness and self-care that women can follow to look and feel fantastic – before and during pregnancy and after giving birth. Sweeney is on the Entertainment Council of Feeding America and is an Ambassador for Stand Up To Cancer. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband Dave and their two children Ben and Megan.

1 Please remember to consult your veterinarian before beginning your pet on a weight management program.
2 Source: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
3 Source: 2011 Kelton Research survey
4 The index reflects a composite of eight variables about cats and dogs, including levels of physical activity and eating habits, as well as veterinary advice and owner opinion of their pet’s weight. The city with the lowest score is ranked the highest; the city with the highest score is ranked the lowest.

Nicole Brigagliano
Cohn & Wolfe 212-798-9527