A recent study discovered that on average, 20% of American children don’t drink any water. Instead, they are guzzling sodas and other sugary drinks to quench their thirst, which is horrible for their health.
On top of not being good for their health, the children have an additional 100 calories added to their daily diet, or even more, depending on how many sugary drinks and what type they are drinking. The study, which was published in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics stated, “Over the last 15 years, we’ve seen a decrease in sugar sweetened-beverage intake among children, which is very encouraging, but there are still pockets and subpopulations that have high consumption levels.” Over one-fifth of the 8,400 children, aged 2-10 reported to not drinking any water on an average day.
“What was kind of surprising was that one in five kids and teens didn’t consume any water at all, and those kids were consuming twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages than those kids who did drink water on any given day,” study author Dr. Asher Y. Rosinger, director of the water health and nutrition lab at Penn State University, told MarketWatch.
And there were no metrics, such as poverty or gender, that played a role in who drank water and who didn’t. As an example, white, non-Hispanic children who didn’t sip on water, took in an additional 122 calories from sugary sodas, and other beverages. This is twice the number of Hispanic children in the study, who took in an extra 61 calories. Black, non-Hispanic children who didn’t drink water landed at 93 calories. While the study calculated the numbers, it didn’t provide the cause behind the astounding number. The children were asked about their intake rather than the reason behind their intake.
If you were thinking this wasn’t a huge deal, you must know that researchers say that children need to consume water each day, and it should truly be their first option. While a few extra calories may not seem like much, it adds up quickly. Around 3,500 calories equal a pound of weight gain, and its parents don’t pay attention, their children could pack on many extra pounds, leading to early onset diabetes, heart issues, and worse, at an early age.
If you are worried your children aren’t consuming enough water, or want to ensure they do, start early. When children are young, stick to healthy drinks, such as water and milk as much as you can. Don’t allow them to guzzle juice, as the juice is high in natural sugars. And most of all remain patient. If your children are already in the habit of drinking high amounts of sugar, a healthy change won’t happen overnight. Have faith and keep pushing until they are drinking the correct amount of water. The impact this change will have will definitely be worth the wait!