Published: February 2020

ID #: 74395

Journal: Prev Chronic Dis

Authors: Lawman HG, Grossman S, Lofton X, Tasian G, Patel AI

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Previous interventions to increase water access and consumption have focused on school settings, have shown mixed results on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, and have rarely addressed tap water safety. Our randomized controlled trial examined how improving access and appeal of water in recreation centers in low-income neighborhoods affected counts of SSBs carried by youth attending summer camp. Recreation centers (N = 28) matched on their characteristics were randomly assigned to control or intervention groups. Intervention centers received a new water fountain with a bottle filler (hydration station), water testing services, reusable water bottles, and water promotion and education training and materials. Primary outcomes were 1-year changes in center-level average daily gallons of water from fountains and hydration stations (flowmeter readings). Secondary outcomes were counts of SSBs observed, use of bottled water and reusable water bottles, staff SSB consumption, and hydration station maintenance. Results showed increased water use and reusable bottle counts in intervention centers compared with control centers. No change occurred in youth carrying SSBs at camp, but center staff’s past 30-day SSB consumption frequency decreased. Although providing hydration stations along with water testing, reusable water bottles, education, and promotion increased water consumption among youth at recreation centers, it had no effect on the number of SSBs observed during camp. Future strategies to increase water consumption should also address reducing SSB intake.

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