January 31, 2020

New study suggests installing drinking water stations at community sites may increase water consumption by rural California communities with unsafe drinking water

Approximately 300 California communities have public water systems (utilities) that provide tap water that does not meet safety standards. In these communities, residents must purchase bottled water in order to have safe drinking water.


Agua4All, a cross-sector partnership with funding from The California Endowment, tested the installation of water bottle filling stations dispensing safe water as a means to help communities access quality tap water. Tap water, even when filtration is used, is less costly than bottled water.


In one of the first studies to look at how promoting and increasing access to safe drinking water in communities with non-potable drinking water impacts community-level water consumption, community sites in Kern County, California received new, public drinking water bottle filling stations.

The...

September 10, 2018

Early childhood is a critical period for developing food preferences and dietary patterns. Despite dietary recommendations to limit or eliminate sugary drinks in early childhood, children ages 0 to 5 frequently drink these beverages. There is currently a lack of evidence on effective policy, systems, and environmental strategies to reduce sugary drink consumption and provide and promote water among children ages 0 to 5.

Healthy Eating Research (HER) recently released a national research agenda to address this evidence gap. HER used a rigorous, structured approach to develop the agenda, including conducting systematic literature reviews, surveying practitioners, and convening a scientific advisory committee, which included several National Drinking Water Alliance allies.

HER’s national research agenda presents thirteen key issues as priorities for future research efforts:

  1. Measures of consumption and baseline understanding of consumption patterns

  2. Beverages in the food reta...

June 21, 2018

Undergraduate college students drink more water when it is clearly labeled and visible to them, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University.

The study intervention added a small sign above the soda dispenser’s water button to increase visibility of the water dispenser. Researchers surveyed the students before and after the intervention, and conducted focus groups after to discuss students’ drinking habits and assess any changes in water consumption habits.

After the intervention, students drank water more frequently, and more students reported having chosen water for their meal. Clearly labeling the water’s location was successful in prompting students to drink more water.

The researchers also found that the location of the water button on the soda dispenser discouraged water consumption. Students reported choosing soda or other sugary drinks instead of water because they were readily available to them wh...

July 17, 2017

A new paper from researcher Jodi Stookey in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism outlines what factors to consider when designing effective school-based drinking water interventions.

Experimenting with changes to drinking water systems in schools may have positive effects on weight and risk of obesity for children, but there are particular conditions of the intervention that may maximize these effects. The success depends on factors such as the initial weight status, total beverage intake pattern, dietary restraint, diet composition and activity level of the target population. Strategic planning helps to create and sustain these particular conditions needed for the best possible outcomes for the intervention.

This paper outlines some important questions to consider when planning a drinking water intervention. These questions are motivated by significant results from randomized controlled trials. In addition, the paper looks at the recently successful school-based drinking-water in...

June 29, 2017

A recently issued expert panel report, “Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach” from Healthy Eating Research provides new feeding guidelines for children aged 0-2. Early life diet and feeding patterns are key to establishing healthy habits and preferences. Per the report, water is the best option to quench young children’s thirst, sugar sweetened beverages should not be offered to any children under age 2, and juice should be limited to 0-4 ounces per day maximum.

A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations” adds to recommendations on beverage intake for very young children. The policy statement’s recommendations include a limit of, at most, 4 ounces of juice for children aged 1-3 and 4-6 ounces for children age 4-6. The recommendations also note that breastmilk or infant formula is sufficient for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water...

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