Water + Schools = Student Weight Loss

Posted & filed under Children's Oral Health and Fluoride, Fluoride and Public Health.

Making drinking water readily available in New York City public schools demonstrates that this easy, low cost intervention helps fight obesity. A study by researchers at New York University and Syracuse University analyzed data on more than one million students in 1,227 elementary and middle schools with and without water dispensers.

Young Girl Drinking WaterOver the five year study period, 2008-13, they found that “doing something as simple as providing free and readily available water to students may have positive impacts on their overall health, particularly weight management.” In this video of an interview with Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, the study’s senior investigator, he discusses the small but statistically significant reductions in weight.

Water is essential to our overall health. It keeps us hydrated, protects our joints, and helps our whole body function smoothly. Unlike juice and sugar sweetened beverages, like the soda and sports drinks that are so popular among school-aged kids, water has zero calories. And while sugary drinks contribute to tooth decay, fluoridated water protects teeth. Sweet drinks are one of the largest contributors to weight gain and are not recommended for people with diabetes. Water is an easy, inexpensive, and healthy choice.