A recent study suggests that one extremely simple change can lead to dramatic reductions in childhood obesity.
Obesity has become a serious issue in the United States, and it affects children at an increasingly concerning rate. According to a CBS New York report, however, there may be one simple change that parents and schools can make that may drastically lower the risk of a child becoming dangerously overweight.
You might be surprised at the suggestion made by researchers at the NYU Langone Medical Center – by simply drinking more water, school children can lose weight and keep it off. According to the study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, an assessment of thousands of NYC public school students revealed that easily accessible water-jet dispensers placed around the school building contributed to a widespread reduction in overall weight and body mass index.
According to Brian Elbel, an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center and co-author of the recent study, “We looked at over a million kids in just over 1,200 schools in grades K-8. They ended up being about four or five pounds lighter after the introduction of this invention as compared to a kid in a school that didn’t get a water jet.”
Elbel agrees that the weight reductions aren’t massive and likely won’t lead to an entire elimination of obesity in the nation’s school systems, but the gains made by such a simple change could begin to add up. He believes the results of the study are extremely important in the overall fight against excessive childhood weight.
Water is a low-cost, high-impact weapon in the battle against childhood obesity. It doesn’t take much to offer access to water to students; even if a school can’t afford a new water-jet dispenser, any self-serve drinking fountain is likely to have an impact. By staying hydrated, students get the double benefit of having an alert and focused mind as well as fewer cravings for snack food.
While further research will need to be done in order to establish a stronger link between water consumption and childhood obesity, the study’s results are a promising step forward.
A press release from NYU describing the details of the study can be found here.