A positive report on weight loss in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)


Liesegang A,Gimmel A, Menzinger M, and Lipp T. 2021. A positive report on weight loss in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). In Brooks M, Koutsos E, and Henry B Eds. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation and AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Virtual.


Obesity is one of the emerging health problems of human society. Also, in one of their closest relatives, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), obesity is a substantial risk factor for disease and has a negative impact on lifespan. Obesity in primates has been associated with a diet high in starch and soluble sugars. When comparing the diet from the wild, where chimpanzees predominantly eat wild fruit, and other parts of trees and leaves, as well as prey, to diets in human care, these often contain cultivated fruits, which have been bred for a high total sugar and low crude fiber content. These diets are fed due to the fact that primates are known to be mainly frugivorous and therefor are provided a fruit-based diet. But unfortunately, these fruits are not representative for wild fruits. These would resemble cultivated vegetables in terms of composition. The consultant service of the Institute of Animal Nutrition was contacted to recommend a weight loss diet for an obese chimpanzee.

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