Water & Your Health

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee - DWRF Submissions

Read what DWRF experts and other scientists have to say on the topic of water and health.

Click on the article or presentation titles below to be taken to the full study.

DWRF Submission #4 to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Jack West, Drinking Water Research Foundation, September 2014
Zero calorie beverages such as water – including bottled water – can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight and promote health. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognized this fact when it noted that, “Sweetened foods and beverages can be replaced with those that have no or are low in added sugars. For example, sweetened beverages can be replaced with water and unsweetened beverages.” (29) We would recommend enhanced messaging in this section and other sections like it on water consumption with the incorporation of language on bottled water for the 2015 Guidelines and related supplemental documents, such as the “My Plate” nutrition guide. Moreover, we suggest the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee specifically acknowledge the importance of bottled water since it is the healthiest option among packaged beverages, which in today’s on-the-go society is the primary way most people consume liquids in their diets.

DWRF Submission #3 to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Jack West, Drinking Water Research Foundation, July 2014
DWRF believes that for Americans to drink more water, all sources of water – tap, filtered and bottled -- should be promoted. Indeed, given that more than half of the water consumed by Americans is bottled water (according to Beverage Marketing Corporation), language that excludes bottled water, such as drink “freely accessible water,” is counterproductive. Sometimes free tap water is not available. Therefore, qualifying water as “free” can limit people from choosing the healthiest, calorie-free drink available, in whatever form suits their circumstances at the moment.

DWRF Submissions (#1 & #2) to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Jack West, Drinking Water Research Foundation, September 2013
Living a healthy lifestyle— a combination of eating a healthful diet and physical activity—is a key component of keeping our bodies performing at their optimal level. A major part of this includes adopting healthy hydration habits. This involves both the quality and quantity of our beverage intake. Water consumption is an integral part of staying healthy. DWRF asks that the Committee keep this in mind as it makes its recommendations concerning the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

The Effect of Soft Drink Availability in Elementary Schools on Consumption, Fernandes M. Meenakshi, Journal of American Dietetic Association, September 2008
To quantify the association among soft drink availability, school-based purchases, and overall consumption for elementary school children in the United States. The study is a cross-sectional, descriptive analysis of children in fifth grade across the United States. Measures of soft drink availability, purchases, and consumption are reported by the child in direct assessments by interviewers.

Children's Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, June 2008
A recent study published in Pediatrics and led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are an increasingly large part of children and teens' diets. Teens who consume SSBs, which include sodas, fruit drinks and punches, and sports drinks, drink an average of 356 calories per day, a significant increase from 10 years earlier. The findings suggest that reducing empty caloric intake by limiting these drinks may be a key strategy for promoting healthy eating and preventing excess weight gain.

You will find more information related to health and hydration in our Health Studies section.