A recent study conducted by researchers at Syracuse and New York universities found that schools can help students lose weight by simply providing more water. Authors believe that the simple solution could curb America’s obesity epidemic like no other methods set in place so far.
Researchers noted that students who have access to self-serving water machines are more likely to eat less and lose weight than students who opt for sugary drinks at their school launch.
The study was based on data gathered in New York City’s elementary and middle schools equipped with water dispensers in their cafeterias. Scientists were curious to learn whether such setting would influence kids’ appetite and their body mass index (BMI) on the short run.
The water dispensers in the NYC schools are fairly easy to use by any student and cost about $1,000 per unit. Still, the schools did not have to fork the money out their budget since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the machines for free.
The research team had access to information on the students’ BMI before and after schools introduced the water machines. BMI is an indicator that can tell you whether you are at healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
The formula to calculate the BMI takes into account the weight and height, and there are countless online calculators that can tell what your BMI is by providing only these two measures.
Researchers said that they noticed that first positive changes in the students’ BMI after just three months. Students who had access to water machines at their schools lost between .022 and .025 of their BMI over that period without changing their diet.
The water dispensers were also tied to almost 10 percent lower risk of male students to become overweight, and 0.6 percent for female students to be deemed overweight. Researchers believe that the changes could be the result of kids choosing to drink plain water and drop soda, juices or chocolate milk from their school launch menu.
Amy Ellen Schwartz of Syracuse University, who is the lead author of the study, explained that increasing water consumption among students was linked to a decrease in the amount of calories kids get from sugary drinks.
The recently found link between water consumption and weight loss is consistent with past studies which had found that a good level of hydration prevents people from overeating.
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