Published: December 2022

ID #: 77234

Publisher: Nutrition Policy Institute, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources. Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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This research brief gives an overview of the Water is K’é intervention, conducted among Navajo Nation families. The intervention was delivered by early care and education teachers to households with children ages 2-5, and covered the cultural importance of water, health benefits of water, and alternatives to sugary drinks. At baseline, more than 70% of children already drank water several times daily, yet they also consumed more sugary drinks, particularly sweetened juice and flavored milk, than experts recommend. After the intervention, children consumed 21% fewer sugary drinks, providing an average decrease of 26 calories a day. Children consumed 16% more water and drank more unflavored milk and less flavored milk. This small pilot suggests promising approaches for increasing the healthfulness of Navajo children’s beverage intake. Improvement in caregiver knowledge of traditional Diné reverence for water may have influenced the change in beverages offered to children.

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