Advertisement

How Water Dispensers in Schools Can Help Prevent Childhood Obesity

How Water Dispensers in Schools Can Help Prevent Childhood Obesity

Research shows that water dispensers in schools helped NYC students consume less sugar.

Every American drank about 39 gallons of bottled water last year, using and throwing out 50 billion plastic water bottles in the process.

That’s why we praised the New York City school system for its “water with lunch” campaign that brought large water dispensers (not bottled water) into some public schools: We knew it would mean more kids consuming fewer calorie-laden beverages and drinking more water, as well as eliminating plastic bottles. Win, win, win.

Well, the data on the test run is in. Researchers from the University of Illinois have done a cost-benefit analysis of that campaign and found:

  • Expanding the program to public and private schools nationwide can prevent more than 500,000 youngsters from becoming overweight or obese and trim down medical costs associated with kids’ weight-related problems.
  • Making water with lunch available to every child in grades K through 12 today would only cost about $18 per pupil. And the net benefit to society? $13 billion over those student’s lifetime.

So talk to your local school board and PTA about installing fresh water dispensers in all cafeterias and also discuss limiting the number of sugary beverages that are available to students. Concerned about water quality? Use an easy-to-install, on-tap water filter.

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

Keep the Conversation Going with Your Toddler
Keep the Conversation Going with Your Toddler
A recent study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, noted that conversations between children and adults can ra...
Read More
What would make a child turn her head to one side to watch TV?
David K. Coats, MDDavid K. Coats, MD
You are correct to be concerned. Children will adopt an abnormal face turn if it helps to improv...
More Answers
Head Lice: 11 Myths Debunked
Head Lice: 11 Myths DebunkedHead Lice: 11 Myths DebunkedHead Lice: 11 Myths DebunkedHead Lice: 11 Myths Debunked
Find out what you can do to treat -- and prevent -- a lice infestation.
Start Slideshow
How Do I Recognize a Thyroid Disease in My Child or Adolescent?
How Do I Recognize a Thyroid Disease in My Child or Adolescent?