International Bottled Water Association | IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 22, 2012
Recent studies highlight important role of healthy hydration in fighting obesity
Alexandria, VA – Recent announcements by government agencies and leading healthcare researchers highlight the important role that proper hydration plays in a healthy lifestyle. One-third of American adults are now obese, and over the last 30 years, children’s obesity rates have climbed from five to 17 percent. Drinking lower or zero-calorie beverages, such as water, instead of sugary beverages is regularly cited as a key component of a more healthful lifestyle. Now more than ever, picking bottled water is a smart decision and a healthy choice when it comes to beverage options.
A Growing Problem
In a new study, released May 8, 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IoM) indicates that by 2030, obesity could affect 42 percent of Americans. According to the IoM report, “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation,” the United States’ progress in combating its obesity epidemic has been to slow and ineffective. Released at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Weight of the Nation” conference, this report states that America’s obesity problem continues to erode productivity and cause millions to suffer from potentially debilitating and deadly chronic illnesses.
“Solving this complex, stubborn problem requires a comprehensive set of solutions that work together to spur across-the-board societal change,” stated the committee that wrote the report. The report’s recommendations aim to support individuals’ and families’ abilities to make healthy choices – such as drinking water – where they work, learn, eat, and play.
The Costs of Obesity
On April 16, 2012, researchers from Cornell University released a report, “The Medical Care Costs of Obesity,” that found the cost of medical care related to obesity in the U.S. is $109 billion a year. As the report, notes, that amount represents 20.6 percent of total U.S. health care spending – twice as much as previously reported.
Additionally, another study published on April 10, 2012, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that in order to meet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ goal of reducing the childhood obesity rate to 14.6 percent by 2020, children aged two to 19 years would need to eliminate an average of 64 calories a day. Without this reduction in caloric intake, the average child or teen would be nearly four pounds heavier in 2020 than a child of the same age in 2007. In addition, the study projects that more than 20 percent of kids would be obese, up from the current 16.9 percent. The study’s authors specifically recommend, “replacing all sugar-sweetened beverages in school with water and not consuming any additional sugary beverages outside of school.”
According to the 2010 dietary guidelines developed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, reducing the consumption of added sugars will lower the calorie content of a person’s diet, without compromising its nutrient adequacy. The guidelines recommend that consumers cut back on foods and drinks with added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as sugar-sweetened beverages. They also suggest that consumers drink few or no regular sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks. The recommended healthier option is to choose water, fat-free milk, 100 percent fruit juice, or unsweetened tea or coffee rather than sugar-sweetened drinks.
Drinking water, whether bottled or tap, continues to be one of the easiest choices people can make to have an immediate impact on caloric intake. With zero calories, bottled water provides a crisp, refreshing, reliable, and consistent source of healthful hydration at any age.
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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.