Obesity is a growing problem in our country, especially among children and teens, but for overweight kids the solution may be less about what they eat (or don’t eat) and more about what they drink. A recent study has found that when individuals drink water to prevent obesity, the results are not only promising, but also really effective at managing weight in children and teens.
Water and Obesity are More Related than you Might Realize
A recent study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, and conducted by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An, set out to investigate what happens if kids drink water to prevent obesity, and how that water intake can impact their weight. The study was a part of a nationwide expansion of a pilot program that was conducted in 1,200 elementary and middle school schools in New York City between 2009 and 2013. At those schools plain water was provided and readily available to students at lunch, which lead to an increased intake of water across the board. How much of an increase? The study found that “consumption of water at lunchtime tripled and was associated with small but significant declines in their risks of being overweight one year later.”
The theory behind why and how this happens is that an increase in water intake leads to smarter choices when it comes to what foods kids eat, as well as how much they consume. Plain water as an alternative to juices, sodas and whole milk will reduce the number of calories consumed as well as manage sugar and saturated fat intake. No surprise, but less sugar, less fat and less calories are all really good things when you are trying to positively impact a child’s health and manage their weight.
Consumption of water at lunchtime tripled and was associated with small but significant declines in their risks of being overweight one year later.
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