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According to a study completed by professors at Syracuse University, one solution to the growing childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. could be getting kids to consume more water at school. In fact, researchers found that offering self-serve water dispensers in the school cafeteria led to student weight loss.
This particular study looked at New York City elementary and middle school students where cafeterias installed water jets in which kids could get a drink using a disposable, plastic cup. Researchers compared the overweight status and BMI for all students before and after the water jets were introduced. Students at the school with the water jets saw a BMI reduction of .022 for girls and .025 for boys.
The authors believe that providing easy access to water at lunch could prompt children to substitute it for unhealthy beverages. This calorie reduction could then lead to weight loss and other health benefits.
These findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics on January 19, 2016.