This study examined how drinking water was associated with the amount of calories children, adolescents and young adults consume from sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, fruit drinks and sports drinks.
Among 8,400 participants in a nationally representative survey (ages 2-5, 6-11 and 12-19 years), about one-fifth reported no water intake on a given day. Not drinking water was associated with consuming more calories from sugary beverages. After accounting for sociodemographic factors, no water intake was associated with intake of 93 calories and 4.5 percent more calories from sweetened drinks among participants ages 2 to 19. The magnitude of that caloric intake varied by age and racial/ethnic groups. For example, non-Hispanic white children who didn't drink water consumed an extra 122 calories from sugary beverages while Hispanic children consumed an extra 61 calories from sweetened drinks. The study data doesn't allow for inferences about causality but researchers report the findings demonstrate that children, adolescents and young adults should drink water every day to avoid consuming extra calories and sugar.