American Children Do Not Drink Enough Water, Study Warns

Water is important but a new study warns that children are not drinking enough of it.  Instead, they are opting for more dangerous sugary drinks like sodas and even energy drinks.  And a new study warns that too many children risk serious health issues because they simply do not drink enough water; if they drink any water at all.

Study author Asher Rosinger notes, “Drinking water is the healthiest beverage to drink.  Water is an essential nutrient that is critical to proper physiological and cognitive functioning.”

According to this study, which analyzed data taken form the US National Health and Nutrition Surveys across two separate periods of one year, at least 1 in 5 children do not drink any water at all on any given day. More importantly, those who do not drink water end up taking in upwards of twice the calories they should because they drink sugar-sweetened beverages instead. 

The Pennsylvania State University director of Water, Health, and Nutrition Laboratory also advises that sugary drinks “are problematic because they have been linked to many negative health conditions, such as weight gain, dental caries (aka, “cavities”), and type 2 diabetes.”

To put it simply, it can also equate to roughly 100 extra calories a day.

Rosinger is very clear about the importance of water, especially for kids, advising “Kids should drink water every day, and it should be the first option [parents] go to when their kids are thirsty.”

Lona Sandon is the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center program director in the department of clinical nutrition.  She asserts that this study confirms pretty much what she has been finding in her practice.  She comments that if children are not drink drinking something else, and that something else is probably soft drinks or other sugary drinks.  

Thus, Sandon advises that parents should “provide water and low-fat plain milk at the table. Keep flavored milk only for special occasions. Avoid purchasing soft drinks or other fruit juice-type drinks that are laden with added sugar. Try no-calorie, flavored seltzer water instead. Make a no-soft drink or other sugary drinks rule in the household. Save them for special occasions. Keep 100 percent fruit juice to 1 cup per day. Keep sports drinks for sports, not with meals, and only if the child will be exercising for more than an hour.”