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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Sep;112(9):1421-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.04.014. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Factors associated with low water intake among US high school students - National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study, 2010.

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  • 1Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, Mailstop K26, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


Drinking plain water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is one approach for reducing energy intake. Only a few studies have examined characteristics associated with plain water intake among US youth. The purpose of our cross-sectional study was to examine associations of demographic characteristics, weight status, dietary habits, and other behavior-related factors with plain water intake among a nationally representative sample of US high school students. The 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study data for 11,049 students in grades 9 through 12 were used. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for variables associated with low water intake (<3 times/day). Nationwide, 54% of high school students reported drinking water <3 times/day. Variables significantly associated with a greater odds for low water intake were age ≤15 years (OR 1.1), consuming <2 glasses/day of milk (OR 1.5), nondiet soda ≥1 time/day (OR 1.6), other sugar-sweetened beverages ≥1 time/day (OR 1.4), fruits and 100% fruit juice <2 times/day (OR 1.7), vegetables <3 times/day (OR 2.3), eating at fast-food restaurants 1 to 2 days/week and ≥3 days/week (OR 1.3 and OR 1.4, respectively), and being physically active ≥60 minutes/day on <5 days/week (OR 1.6). Being obese was significantly associated with reduced odds for low water intake (OR 0.7). The findings of these significant associations of low water intake with poor diet quality, frequent fast-food restaurant use, and physical inactivity may be used to tailor intervention efforts to increase plain water intake as a substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages and to promote healthy lifestyles.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

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