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A Simple Trick To Help Kids Lose Weight: Water Jets

Update Date: Jan 22, 2016 08:56 AM EST

United States is an 'obese' superpower. Obesity is now becoming a serious public health concern in the US- one in five American children suffering from it according to a 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Helping overweight students lose weight is quite a tall order for any school administration. But an interesting study recently published by New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center offers a simple intervention to bring obesity and overweight levels down significantly.

Statistical findings from the New York-based study found a significant weight reduction among obese and overweight students enrolled in New York public schools with available free water in school canteens.

The research involved a study of more than 1 million New York City students from kindergarten to eighth grade who have access to free water via 'water jets' which look similar to slushy machines popular among kids. Since the installation of water dispensers, the body mass index (BMI) among boys fell by 1% and 0.6% in girls according to CBS News.

The statistical drop in BMI is equivalent to four to five-pound weight reduction considering that 40% of New York City students are deemed overweight. The price tag for each machine is $1, 000.

"It's a very low-cost, easy-to-implement intervention that actually had a real effect," remarked Brian Elbel of NYU Department of Population Health as quoted saying by New York Daily News.

Another factor that might have helped students lose weight was the the city's public health policy of not allowing government-funded schools to sell soda and other sweetened drinks. As healthy alternative, self-serving water dispensers were installed to encourage students to drink water more. In addition, studies have repeatedly shown that increased water consumption make people eat less.

"Schools are a natural setting for such interventions," observed Professor Amy Ellen Schwartz of NYU's Institute for Education and Social Policy as mentioned by Tech Times.

She further stated that lowering calorie intake from sweetened drinks and encouraging students to drink more water is essential in keeping children healthy and reduce the health risks linked to obesity.

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