Study: Schools meeting free drinking water govt. mandate

(CBS News) Studies show that drinking water helps children stay at a healthy weight. It can also help them stay focused in the classroom. Now, a new study takes a look at whether water is readily available at schools.

Seven-year-old Gavin Fedelizo drinks plenty of water at school. When asked what his favorite drink is, he said he likes water because it doesn't have sugar and it's healthy.

A new study shows most schools are meeting a new government mandate to make free drinking water available to students during lunch.

"In about 70 percent of schools they were using existing drinking fountains that had already been there. In about 20 percent of schools they were using other strategies," said Dr. Lindsey Turner, author of the study from the University of Illinois.

At Public School 89 and other New York City schools, water jets make fresh cold water available on tap.

"We've seen certainly an increase in the consumption of water. We now go thru about 2 million gallons of water a year through our water jets," said Eric Goldstein, CEO for School Support Services for the NYC Department of Education.

Water is key to overall health. In general, kids should drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water a day. Yet, numbers show about a third of children drink the recommended amount.

"One of the really important considerations here is that if kids are drinking water , they may be less likely to drink sugary beverages," said Dr. Turner.

But researchers found some students may be avoiding water at school over concerns water fountains are not clean.


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