Rainbow Pediatrics
Fayetteville Office
1327 Robeson St.
Fayetteville, NC 28305
(910) 486-5437
Fayetteville Office
341 S. McPherson Church Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28303
(910) 920-4428
Hope Mills Office
4469 S. Main St.
Hope Mills, NC 28348
(910) 426-5430
Raeford Office
142 Paraclete Dr.
Raeford, NC 28376
(910) 904-0404

Your Child’s Health is Linked to How Much Water They Drink 

“But it has no flavor.”

“I hate water.” 

Whatever the reason your child gives for not drinking enough water, you should know that if you want to focus on improving their health – pay attention to how much water they drink daily. Children who do not drink water on a given day consume twice the number of calories from sugary drinks as children than those who drink water. Over time, this can result in obesity.

Would having better access to water at school help prevent weight gain? A 15-month study recently published in the journal Pediatrics looked at just that. 

Based in California’s Bay area, the study included 1,200 students across 18 schools. The elementary schools chosen for the study were racially and ethnically diverse and in low-income areas. This is because of the increased risk for those living in these areas to have chronic health problems, such as being overweight or obese. 

Having good access to water is one thing. Another is to have a bottle with which to fill. So, half the schools were gifted water dispensers and water bottle filling stations. These schools were also given cups or bottles to fill and were educated about the importance of drinking enough water. After 15 months, the schools without added access to water stations had more than seven times the prevalence of students classified as obese than the schools who had improved access to water. 

So, what does this mean for you? It means change. If you want improved health at home and school:

  1. Start paying attention to what your child is drinking.
  2. Instead of purchasing sugary drinks like juice and soda, buy your child a cool reusable water bottle and some stickers to put on it and ask them to drink out of that throughout the day. If a child gets thirsty at school and does not have something to fill, they will likely only have a few sips. If they have a bottle, they will likely drink more water.
  3. Make water fancy. Add a lemon slice to the bottle. You can even make “spa water” by adding strawberry slices, mint leaves, cucumber slices, and more to water pitchers in the fridge. Make it fun and fancy to drink water. 
  4. Do not shame kids. The education provided in the study focused on the importance of hydration for overall health – not on obesity. This is a crucial point to note because if you want to teach kids to be healthy, it is critical that they not be shamed. Shame can result in an unhealthy relationship with food. Focus on the positive.
  5. Practice what you are preaching. While you are at the store buying the kids a water bottle, pick one up for yourself too! And remember the stickers you want to add to your bottle too. 
  6. Make a Strong Kids Clinic appointment with Dr. Nanda. Board Certified in Obesity Medicine, Dr. Nanda is the perfect person to support you on your quest to have healthy kids.