Federal and California state legislation requires schools to provide free drinking water where school lunches are served, yet many schools in California do not provide free water in school food service areas (FSAs). When water is provided, it is usually provided via fountains which may be unappealing to students, and studies are needed to understand what specific changes to the school water environment are most effective in increasing students’ water intake. The aims of this study are to: 1) develop a valid protocol for assessing California students’ water intake in school and use this measure to assess how effective different water delivery systems are in increasing students’ water intake; 2) use a pre-post test quasi-experimental study to examine whether promotion (signage) plus provision of a non-fountain water delivery system (i.e., Cambro dispensers, hydration stations, or taps designed for refilling a reusable water bottle) with cups is more effective in increasing water intake among students as compared to controls (fountains without promotion); 3) obtain estimates of the cost of water provision through various delivery systems (i.e., fountain, hydration station, and Cambro dispenser) and use such data along with consumption data to calculate the cost per ounce of water consumed by delivery system; and 4) disseminate study findings to ensure effective implementation of state and federal requirements for free water in school FSAs.
Examining Students’ Water Intake in Schools as a Tactic to Help Prevent Obesity
A Trial of the Efficacy and Cost of Water Delivery Systems in San Francisco Bay Area Middle Schools, 2013
This study aimed to examine the efficacy and cost of two water delivery systems—water dispensers with cups and water coolers with cups—in increasing students’ lunchtime intake of water in lower-income middle schools. Twelve middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area participated in a cluster randomized control trial in which … More
Association Between Student Purchases of Beverages During the School Commute and In-School Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, San Francisco Bay Area, 2013
The objective of this study was to describe where students from lower-income, ethnically diverse communities obtain the sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) they drink during school lunchtime and to examine whether students who purchase beverages while traveling to and from school are more likely to drink SSBs during lunchtime. This cross-sectional study … More
Water Works: A Guide to Improving Water Access and Consumption in Schools to Improve Health and Support Learning
The Water Works implementation guide can help interested individuals work with schools and community partners to increase access to free, high-quality drinking water sources in their schools. It provides a comprehensive description on how to start a school water program, including how to: 1) build a team and gather support … More