How to Prevent Childhood Obesity: Give Kids Water With Lunch
Could encouraging children to drink plain water with their lunches at school be a key to cutting their risk for obesity? A new study published in Pediatric Obesity suggests this simple measure could prevent more than half a million U.S. children from becoming overweight or obese.
Researchers looked at the expansion of a New York City pilot program conducted between 2009 and 2013 and involving 1,200 elementary and middle school students. In this program, when water dispensers were placed in school cafeterias, the students’ water consumption at lunchtime tripled, resulting in small but significant declines in their obesity/overweight risks after one year.
Other studies have shown that drinking plain water doesn’t have much of an impact on overall nutrition – in children or adults – but it is linked to reduced saturated fat and sugar intake.