Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'Water Jets' May Stem Tide of Student Obesity

Inexpensive dispensers that bring cold, filtered water into New York City public schools may be putting a dent in the childhood obesity epidemic there.

More than 40 percent of children in elementary or middle school in New York City are overweight or obese. But now, researchers have found that the schools that have installed the new water dispensers — called water jets, serving chilled, oxygenated water into cups or bottles — have seen a decline in body-mass index among children with a weight problem.

The decline was modest — a drop of 1 percentage point in the obesity rate among boys, and a half percentage point among girls — but the study, published today (Jan. 19) in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, was statistically significant, following more than 1 million schoolchildren in 1,227 schools for five years in a real-life setting.

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