Fewer things are – or should be – more important to us than the education and health of our children. And there is one place where the two intersect – the school cafeteria. According to a recent study from the New York University, making water available in schools can help children lose weight.
- The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics on January 19th
- It was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- The team of researchers looked at more than 1,200 middle and elementary schools in New York
- Despite the weight decrease being very slim, the researchers think it’s a very good intervention
- Water jets cost around 1000 dollars per unit
- 744 schools didn’t have a water jet, while 483 did
In their attempts to find a solution to the obesity epidemic seen throughout our country, a team of researchers from the University of New York looked at the effects of offering children the option to drink water at school on their weight levels.
The results were sort of anticlimactic, but in the lack of a better – or just less expensive – intervention method, the scientists decided to pursue the idea.
As it turns out, in the 483 school that had a water jet (kind of like a fancier water cooler) installed, boys had a 0.9% smaller chance of being overweight, while girls stood at 0.6% lower.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, reported that in the schools with water jets installed, where kids actually had the option of drinking water at lunch, there were 12 fewer half-pints of milk per student per year purchased.
According to Dr. David Katz, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and director of the Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, the study is relevant because it proves three things.
The first one is that water is still our preferred drink of choice when we’re thirsty.
The second one, is that the children in American schools are limited by their choices – offer them the possibility to drink fewer fattening beverages, and they will do so.
The third one is that Occam’s razor still applies in this situation – the best solution is most often the most obvious one.
Despite milk being a much better alternative to soda, water is still better for reducing the overweight numbers, as it contains no fat.
Next, the researchers are going to look at ways to convince parents to try offering their children water while at home, instead of letting sodas run their lives.
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