Water Jets In Schools Provide One Key To Reducing Childhood Obesity

More on Obesity from MedicalResearch.com
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Brian Elbel

Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center
Amy Schwartz, PhD, Director, New York University Institute for Education and Social Policy, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs, Syracuse University
Michele Leardo, MA, Assistant Director
New York University Institute for Education and Social Policy

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: New York City, as well as other school districts, is making tap water available to students during lunch by placing water dispensers, called water jets, in schools. Surprisingly, drinking water was not always readily available in the lunchroom. Water jets are part of a larger effort to combat child obesity.

We find small, but statistically significant, decreases in weight for students in schools with water jets compared to students in schools without water jets. We see a .025 reduction in standardized body mass index for boys and .022 for girls. We also see a .9 percentage point reduction in the likelihood of being overweight for boys and a .6 percentage point reduction for girls. In other words, the intervention is working.

water jet, childhood obesityMedical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: A small, and relatively low-cost, water availability intervention can make a difference for student weight. And schools are a natural setting. There isn’t one answer to addressing the child obesity epidemic, but rather many small interventions working together that can make a difference.  Water jets could be an important piece of the toolkit for school-based obesity reduction efforts.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should further examine the potential mechanisms for decreased weight, such as reduced consumption of caloric beverages. Future research should also assess the longer-term outcomes of water availability interventions.

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More on Obesity from MedicalResearch.com

Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Amy Schwartz, PhD,, & Michele Leardo, MA (2016). Water Jets In Schools Provide One Key To Reducing Childhood Obesity MedicalResearch.com