A groundbreaking new study in New York could provide a new avenue for dealing with childhood obesity.
Have scientists just found a breakthrough on childhood obesity?
Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center published a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics that claims providing water dispensers or “water jets” at schools was connected to weight loss, according to a CBS New York report.
The study examined thousands of schools in New York City and found that children who had water readily available lost weight and lowered their body mass index compared to those who did not.
The study involved more than a million children at 1,200 schools between kindergarten and the 8th grade, and the kids who had access to water jets were four to five pounds lighter on average. It could be a tremendous breakthrough that could lead to lowering the weight of kids nationwide.
Getting kids to lose weight is a tricky subject, because there is the risk of cutting too many calories and stunting a child’s growth. However, this represents a perfect way to combat childhood obesity, as it simply involves children drinking more water. It’s also a low-cost measure for cash-strapped municipalities.
“This study demonstrates that doing something as simple as providing free and readily available water to students may have positive impacts on their overall health, particularly weight management,” study senior investigator Brian Elbe, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, said in a statement. “Our findings suggest that this relatively low-cost intervention is, in fact, working.”
Amy Ellen Schwartz, PhD, Director of the NYU Institute for Education and Social Policy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs added in the statement that, “Decreasing the amount of caloric beverages consumed and simultaneously increasing water consumption is important to promote children’s health and decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity. Schools are a natural setting for such interventions.”