Access to Water in Schools Can Reduce Obesity in Students

Submitted by admin on Thu, 09/14/2023 - 08:58
Child drinking from water fountain

Access to Water in Schools Can Reduce Obesity in Students

Obesity is a global health concern – and with rising rates among children and adolescents, many schools are implementing strategies and campaigns to promote healthier lifestyles.

One of the most effective ways of promoting a healthier lifestyle is to encourage a higher intake of water. Studies show that providing students with access to water fountains, coolers and bottle filling stations can prevent weight gain – as it displaces unhealthier options such as fizzy drinks.

Backed by research

A study of 1 million students in 1,227 schools in New York City found that schools with water dispensers saw modest weight loss among students, and reduction in the likelihood of students being overweight.

A study in Germany found that providing access to water fountains and encouraging water consumption reduced the risk of becoming overweight by 31%.

The benefits of water coolers in schools

Hydration plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health – especially in children. Water is not only essential for bodily functions, such as digestion or temperature regulation, it is also vital to cognitive functions such as concentration.

1. Replace sugary drinks

Providing students with access to water can help to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks. The UK has one of the highest rates of obesity among children when compared to other developed countries. Evidence suggests that the consumption of sugary drinks has increased in parallel with obesity trends – and it is estimated that between 10 – 15% of a young person’s calorie intake can be attributed to sugary drinks.

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that students who attended schools with water fountains and water coolers consumed fewer sugary drinks than those without access. In some schools – the reduction in the consumption of sugary drinks was as high as 30%.

2. Build good water drinking habits

It is a common misconception that any fluid intake results in hydration, but this is only partially true. Fizzy drinks or juices loaded with sugar can lead to poor digestion and if they contain sodium, increase dehydration.

Providing students with easy access to water at school can help to build good habits around drinking water. Access to water coolers and fountains, especially those with water bottle fillers, can help to build the healthy habit of choosing water over sugar filled beverages.

3. Prevent tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common oral diseases in children. The British Dental Journal noted that 33% of secondary school children have visible dental cavities in their teeth.

Added sugar is often the culprit when it comes to tooth decay – and often children consume added sugar by drinking fizzy drinks and fruit juice. Whilst fruit juice can provide good nutrition – it is important to monitor the amount being consumed, as they often contain a high amount of sugar.

Providing easy access to water in schools can help to reduce the intake of added sugar – which in turn can prevent the pain and inconvenience of treating tooth decay.

4. Support physical activity

It is important to hydrate the body before, during and after physical activity. Encouraging physical activity among children is important when promoting healthy habits and when trying to tackle obesity.

A study by the University of East London found that students who have access to water coolers during physical education classes reported increased participation rates and improved performance.

Water Coolers for Schools

There are many different types of water coolers available. When it comes to choosing the right option for a school – you should consider the final location of the water cooler, how easy it is to maintain and whether it is the right height for students.

For more information read our guide on choosing the right bottle filling stations for schools.

Our recommendations for schools are:

CWS DFBF 454 (Junior)

  • A floor mounted dual purpose drinking fountain – it can be used indoors or outdoors, and features a water bottle filler


  • A wall mounted bottle filling station that can be positioned at a height suitable for younger children

CWS BF 489

  • A wall mounted multiple bottle filling station available in a range of berths

There are many benefits to providing access to water in schools – and with the range of available options, we can work with you to find the right solution. Contact us to learn more about the products we supply and the maintenance services we can provide.

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