Water as the primary beverage: A predictor of pediatric obesity

Kelly Meier, Cindy Minton, Bethany Meyer, Son Chae Kim


Aims: The aims of this study were to assess parental awareness of their own children’s weight status and healthy habits, as well as to determine whether the daily use of water as a child’s primary beverage is a predictor of pediatric obesity or overweight.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at two primary pediatric clinics and one urgent care clinic from September 2014 to November 2014. Data were collected from children’s medical records as well as from parents of children aged 2-18 years. Chi-square tests, bivariate correlations, and multivariate logistic regression procedures were performed.

Results: Two-thirds of parents with obese or overweight children were not aware of their children’s weight status. Male gender emerged as the positive predictor of pediatric obesity or overweight (OR, 9.86; 95% Confidence Interval [CI], 1.21-80.4; p = .033), whereas using water as the primary beverage throughout the day, with low-fat/skim milk at mealtimes was a negative predictor (OR, 0.019; 95% CI, 0.001-0.24; p = .002).

Conclusions: There were nearly 50-fold lower odds of being obese or overweight for children who use water as the primary beverage throughout the day than those who do not. Rather than focusing on negative impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages or 100% fruit juice, more attention should be paid to the positive impact of using water as the primary beverage throughout the day. Using standardized BMI percentile growth charts, children’s weight status should be communicated to all parents. Teaching and motivating parents and children to drink water as their primary beverage throughout the day could be an effective approach to preventing and managing pediatric obesity.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v6n10p65

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.