I just was alerted to some really interesting research reported on by NYU Professor Marion Nestle in the Atlantic via one of my favorite twitterers (is that a word?) and bloggers – Mark Bittman.

The investigators conducted a randomized trial of an intervention to increase water consumption among school aged children in Germany. Schools were randomly assigned to receive a new water fountain, each child received their own water bottle, and educational programs were introduce to promote water consumption. Almost a year later, the children in the intervention arm were no fatter than a year before but children in the control schools were more likely to report being overweight. In total, the risk of being overweight was reduced by a whopping 31% (!). Children in the intervention arm reported drinking more water, but interestingly no difference in the consumption of other beverages, it appears that the water was in addition to other beverages. Huh?

Really fascinating. I would not believe it had the experimental design not seem to be so clean. Perhaps the sample was small, which could explain these results as the finding was just statistically significant, or perhaps it really worked. Excuse me while I go and get a glass of water.

Share on Facebook

1 Response » to “Could installing water fountains be enough to reduce obesity?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Even though the water fountains had to be randomly assigned at the school level, they could have randomly assigned the water bottles at the individual level, which may have given them more statistical power for that aspect of the treatment.

Leave a Reply

Analytics Plugin created by Web Hosting