Federal law requires water access in schools where meals are served. Schools report high rates of water accessibility in cafeterias, but observations indicate lower adherence. Although observation is costly, it permits a more detailed assessment of a water source to determine whether it provides effective access that encourages water consumption and thus, healthy hydration for students. To offer a less costly alternative to observations, researchers developed and validated a photo‐evidence tool to examine characteristics of effective school drinking water access. Two observers recorded characteristics of 200 water sources in 30 schools, including type, wear, cleanliness, and water flow, and examined obstructions and beverage promotion near sources, as well as, drinking vessel availability. Observers photographed sources which were coded by a separate research team. Agreement between observation audits and photograph coding was assessed through percent agreement, and kappa statistics and correlation coefficients.
Development and Validation of a Photo‐Evidence Tool to Examine Characteristics of Effective Drinking Water Access in Schools
More than half of school-age children are under-hydrated, and too many routinely drink sugary beverages, making it harder for their minds and bodies to work well. Drinking water in place of sugary drinks is an important public health strategy to help all children grow up at a healthy weight and … More
Training High School Student “Citizen Scientists” to Document School Water Access: A Feasibility Study
Youth water consumption is inadequate. Increasing adolescent water consumption could support decreased dental caries and body mass index (BMI). Most schools are required to provide free, potable water. However, there is evidence that schools’ self-reported compliance data overestimate access to water in schools. We tested the feasibility of using student … More
Developing, Validating and Feasibility Testing a Cost-Effective Photo-Evidence Method to Assess Effectiveness of Access to Drinking Water in Schools
This study will develop and validate a photo-evidence method to measure effectiveness of water access in schools since the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires that potable water be available to children at no charge during mealtimes in areas where meals are served. The aims of this study … More