Researchers in Europe have pinpointed another benefit of drinking water: When children consume more H2O at school, they are less likely to become overweight. That’s the finding of a new study published in the April 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics. In the study, researchers found that adding drinking fountains and classroom lessons that promote the benefits of water consumption to 32 elementary schools in the socially deprived areas of two German cities reduced the risk of children becoming overweight by 31%.
The study leaves many questions unanswered—such as how water intervention affected a child’s weight risk and whether increased water consumption prompted kids to consume fewer calories during the day. But it also showed that simple changes can help reduce the risk of obesity for our children, particularly when there is an education component involved. This alone makes me appreciate the fact that my son’s kindergarten teacher is adamant about parents sending their kids to school every day with a filled water bottle.
Nutrition Business Journal will be addressing the issue of childhood obesity in our upcoming Healthy Kids issue, which publishes later this month. The issue will include stories about school vending machine policies and healthier vending options and a Q&A with Ann Cooper, also known as the Renegade Lunch Lady and author of Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children. Also featured is a discussion with Vitamin Angels Founder and President Howard Schiffer about how the nutrition industry is helping his organization bring needed vitamins to more than 10 million children globally. To order a copy of the issue, subscribe to NBJ or download a free 32-page sample issue of the journal, go to www.nutritionbusinessjournal.com.