Kids who don’t drink water consume more sweetened beverages One in five kids don't drink any water. (monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thad Zajdowicz/Flickr)
Kids who don’t drink water consume more sweetened beverages
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The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for taxes to be put in place. The taxes are on sugary drinks. It was a sign of growing concern. The concern is over the amount of sugar kids are drinking. They get them from sodas. They get them from sweetened juices. And they get them from other beverages. 

It is a worrying indicator. It shows the nation's sugary drink fixation. A new study has found that one in five children reported not drinking any water. That's on any given day. It also showed that those kids drink more calories from sweetened beverages. That's compared to kids who did drink water. That's according to Reuters' Lisa Rapaport.

The report was published in JAMA Pediatrics. It looked at nationally representative data. It was from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It offered information. It was on 8,400 children. They were between the ages of two and 19. 

Included in the survey were data on kids' water consumption. And on their sweetened beverage consumption. It also included information about caloric intake. These came from sugary drinks. And it showed the percent of total calories that came from these drinks.

Researchers found that around 20 percent of children reported drinking no water. That's throughout the day. They consumed almost twice as many calories. That's compared to kids who did drink some water. The young study participants drank 132 calories. These came from sodas. They also came from other sugary beverages. That's per day. That number dropped to 112 calories with any intake of water. Kids who didn't drink any water took in an average of 210 calories. These came from sweetened drinks.

"Adjusting for sociodemographic variables," the study authors write, "no water intake was associated with intake of 92.9 ... more calories from [sugar-sweetened beverages] among participants aged 2 to 19 years."

Those extra calories don't provide much in the way of nutritional value. And they can add up. That's according to Asher Rosinger. He is the lead study author. He is the director of the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab. It is at Penn State. 

"What you have to remember is that an extra 3,500 calories equals one pound of weight gain," Rosinger says. "So, if you're not compensating for those extra calories, then over a month, you can potentially gain a pound."

Sugary drinks have been linked to a number of issues. These include childhood obesity. It includes type 2 diabetes. It includes dental problems. And it includes high cholesterol. 

"I've seen 2-year-olds with fatty liver disease and teenagers with Type 2 diabetes," said Natalie Muth. She is a pediatrician. She is from California. She spoke to Andrew Jacobs. He works at the New York Times. "These are diseases we used to see in their grandparents."

The new study doesn't fully prove that drinking less water prompts kids to drink more soda. It also doesn't prove the opposite. That's what Gizmodo's Ed Cara notes. It does suggest that there may be a relationship. It suggests that adults should encourage kids to drink water. That's so they don't swap it for something less healthful.

"Kids should consume water every single day. And the first beverage option for kids should be water," said to Rosinger. "Because if they're not drinking water, they're probably going to replace it with other beverages, like sugar-sweetened beverages, that are less healthy and have more calories."

The research does not account for the complex reasons why some children may not be drinking enough water. That's what the study authors note. Sera Young reported for Scientific American. She said reports of water contamination are on the rise in the United States. This contamination is from lead or copper.  

Runoff from fertilizer is contaminating wells. That's in rural parts of the country. Some families have their water shut off. That's because they struggle to pay the bills.
Boosting water intake among children may reduce their consumption of sweetened beverages. But it isn't just about promoting water over sugary drinks. 

"Increasing access to safe, free water," the study authors write, "is critical for childhood health."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What do you think could be done to cut down on the number of sweetened beverages consumed by kids?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (24)
  • robertf-hol1
    9/06/2019 - 09:25 a.m.

    i think its a good idea to add taxes to sugared drinks. it would reduce obesity and kids would drink more healthy things like water. but the thing is it wouldn't make a impact on people that have more money to buy sugared drinks.

  • clairem-hol
    9/09/2019 - 09:11 a.m.

    I think people should come up with a certain amount of plain water they need to consume daily and or weekly!!

  • dakotas-hol1
    9/09/2019 - 09:48 a.m.

    maybe make them work for the drink. Also let them have one when they drink so many bottles of water. maybe even let them have a certain day of the week for soda.

  • mikaylad-hol
    9/09/2019 - 09:24 p.m.

    I think that companies that make sweetened beverages should find a way to cut down the amount of sugar in their drinks without changing the taste or adding anything artificial and even worse for us. Part of the problem is also parents allowing their kids to drink these sweetened drinks on a daily basis. They should be offered every once in a while as a “treat” when they are young so they can continue that habit.

  • Audrey-E2
    9/27/2019 - 10:45 a.m.

    i think that kids my age should drink more water or it will be to the point where they get sick!!!

  • KGWENYTH-dal
    10/01/2019 - 09:28 a.m.

    I think that kids under the age of nineteen could maybe be made to drink water and keep track of how much they have drank water tag. the tag would gradually fill up as they drank more water. Once the tag is all of the way filled, they will be allowed to have a sweetened beverage. I was surprised to find that when you drink water, other sugar filled liquids, have less calories. But when you don't drink water they have more? I'm not sure what they mean.

  • SXAIVER-dal
    10/01/2019 - 11:07 a.m.

    it would cut down if they drank more water and also had clean refrigerator water and a quote from the story says. "Researchers found that around 20 percent of children reported drinking no water. That's throughout the day. They consumed almost twice as many calories. That's compared to kids who did drink some water. The young study participants drank 132 calories. These came from sodas. They also came from other sugary beverages. That's per day. That number dropped to 112 calories with any intake of water. Kids who didn't drink any water took in an average of 210 calories. These came from sweetened drinks. the thing that surprised me is how much calories are in soda

  • EGABE-dal
    10/01/2019 - 11:09 a.m.

    I think that the easiest thing to do is just to warn the parents and let them do it. I was surprised by the fact that only 20% didn't drink water, I thought it would be more.

  • GJACOB-dal
    10/01/2019 - 11:55 a.m.

    I think that maybe in stores they can make it more expensive, so people don't buy it. Also, I think that parents could step in and give them a limit of soda, and make them drink more water so that they will stay healthy.

    I was shocked that 20 percent of children were found not drinking any water.

  • BDIANA-dal
    10/01/2019 - 11:56 a.m.

    What I think would cut down the number of sweet beverages kids drink is cutting the amount of sugar there is in the those beverages. I was shocked that less water kids drinks would provoke them to drink sweetened items.

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