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Water jets fight childhood obesity

The installation of water dispensers in schools is associated with a decreased weight of students. A recent study conducted across 1,227 elementary and middle schools (ages 4-13), including 1,065,562 students in New York City, found that this relatively low-cost intervention has the potential to have great health effects on the children. In 2009, New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Education collaborated to introduce ‘water jets’ into schools. The aim of which was to decrease the volume of high calorie beverages that the children consume and promote water consumption, thereby becoming an intervention against childhood obesity.

The researchers compared the BMI of students before and after the introduction of the water jets and found that, after a 3-month period, BMI in both boys and girls was slightly, but significantly, lowered. The authors hypothesised that the availability of water meant that fewer students would bring in high calorie beverages that may contribute to weight problems. Just under 40% of the children in New York City are classed as being overweight or obese so the city has adopted policies that aim to reduce this number. This intervention could offer a cheap and effective avenue for these policies. However, the researchers do admit that more research will need to be done in order to discover the mechanism behind the effect, although in their study they showed less milk was purchased.

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Picture from Healthnewsline


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