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More water, less soda may help reduce childhood obesity, researchers say

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State College, PA — Children and young adults who drink little or no water often end up consuming calories from sugar-sweetened beverages, which can lead to obesity, according to a recent study.

Using 2011-2016 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers from Penn State University analyzed the caloric intake and water consumption of 8,400 participants between the ages of 2 and 19.

About 20% reported not drinking water on a given day. This group consumed nearly twice as many calories from sugary drinks than those who reported drinking water and exceeded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended 10% of total daily calories from added sugar.

The group had an average intake of 93 more calories from sugary drinks.

The importance of water intake among children and young adults, the researchers say, is that it may help reduce this consumption of sugary drinks and curb childhood obesity – which affects 13.7 million children and adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study was published online April 22 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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