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Am J Public Health. 2015 Sep;105(9):1777-83. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302645. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Grab a Cup, Fill It Up! An Intervention to Promote the Convenience of Drinking Water and Increase Student Water Consumption During School Lunch.

Author information

1
Erica L. Kenney, Steven L. Gortmaker, Jennifer F. Reiner, and Angie L. Cradock are with the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. At the time of the study, Caitlin W. Howe was and Jill E. Carter is with the Health and Wellness Department, Boston Public Schools, Dorchester, MA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated a low-cost strategy for schools to improve the convenience and appeal of drinking water.

METHODS:

We conducted a group-randomized, controlled trial in 10 Boston, Massachusetts, schools in April through June 2013 to test a cafeteria-based intervention. Signage promoting water and disposable cups were installed near water sources. Mixed linear regression models adjusting for clustering evaluated the intervention impact on average student water consumption over 359 lunch periods.

RESULTS:

The percentage of students in intervention schools observed drinking water during lunch nearly doubled from baseline to follow-up compared with controls (+ 9.4%; P < .001). The intervention was associated with a 0.58-ounce increase in water intake across all students (P < .001). Without cups, children were observed drinking 2.4 (SE = 0.08) ounces of water from fountains; with cups, 5.2 (SE = 0.2) ounces. The percentage of intervention students observed with sugar-sweetened beverages declined (-3.3%; P < .005).

CONCLUSIONS:

The current default of providing water through drinking fountains in cafeterias results in low water consumption. This study shows that an inexpensive intervention to improve drinking water's convenience by providing cups can increase student water consumption.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02280707.

PMID:
26180950
PMCID:
PMC4539814
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2015.302645
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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