The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 instituted legislation requiring that schools provide unrestricted free potable water to students in areas where lunch is served. New research has uncovered that only 14 of 24 California schools offered free water to students with school directors reporting that cost and more pressing academic concerns deterred them from making greater efforts to implement the legislation.
What’s more, the study had a 55% response rate from approached schools and only 4% of more than 11,000 students were observed to drink free water. The authors suggest that, although water fountains were in good and sanitary condition, students may be reluctant to choose water due to preference for other beverages.
These findings, and the many others found within this work, indicate the need to continually emphasize the importance of drinking water at the local level. Many school administrators may not be considering the health impacts of not providing potable water to our children, little brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. We are in a position to lobby for our kids and make sure that they receive the benefits that they are entitled to.
What do you think can help students drink more water?
Great post on this important article Shaun-it just makes you wonder if water consumption is being promoted by schools, as well as at home? Some research done in Germany suggests that positive messaging in elementary schools does encourage kids to drink more water, and as a result the overweight kids were successful in losing a bit of weight-possibly important health implications! It would be great to see some action like this in the US! Or maybe some school systems are already doing this?
You bring up two important points: 1. Is water consumption being promoted at home? and 2. Are some school systems already encouraging students to drink more water? It got me thinking about how in this article they mention certain schools had water “champions” who went above and beyond to get kids drinking more water. What if the water “champions” are influencing students to be water “champions” at home, getting their own families to drink more water! Maybe the students can become the example versus the parents?