Lessons at The Water Fountain Reduce Obesity

May 13, 2009

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that installing water fountains in schools can have a direct impact on childhood obesity rates.

As this really good summary says:

The study, conducted in Germany, involved 2 groups of second and third graders. The first group had water fountains installed in their schools, and were also presented 4 classroom lessons to promote water consumption. Each child was given a water bottle and teachers were encouraged to organize filling of the bottles each morning. The second group did not have any kind of intervention.

Almost 3,000 students were involved in the study which was conducted over one school year. The result? The risk of overweight was reduced by 31% in the intervention group. And water consumption after the intervention was 1.1 glasses per day greater in the intervention group.

School facilities are important. In our Healthy High Performing Schools Guide, we recommend building schools with adequate hand washing facilities, kitchens with adequate fresh food prep areas, and access to health services. It seems that this is a logical and important next step – access to water fountains.