Water Fountains In Schools Can Prevent Weight Gain

April 24, 2009
German study notes effect of installing water fountains or providing water bottles to schoolchildren

Providing filtered water fountains and water bottles to schoolchildren can lower their risk of being overweight, according to the study, "Promotion and Provision of Drinking Water in Schools for Overweight Prevention: Randomized, Controlled Cluster Trial."

Researchers studied second- and third-graders from 32 elementary schools in socially deprived areas of two German cities. Water fountains were installed and teachers taught four classroom lessons on water consumption in 17 of the schools; the other schools received no intervention.

After one school year, the risk of overweight was reduced by 31 percent in the intervention group compared to the control group. Children in the schools with the water fountains drank about 1.1 more glasses of water per day. Researchers also found water use increased when children received new water bottles.

For more information, contact Mathilde Kersting, PhD, or Rebecca Muckelbauer.