Why is water consumption critical for public health?
In a world facing a growing obesity concern, encouraging water consumption from any type (mineral, spring, drinking or tap) is at the heart of public health challenges.
Around the world, rates of overweight and obesity are steadily rising, as a result of factors that include increasingly sedentary work situations and unhealthy diet – including poor hydration habits. In 2014, the World Obesity Federation estimated that from 1% to 3% of total health expenditure is due to obesity, in most countries, and that the figure will rise rapidly in the coming years as obesity-related diseases set in.
A health problem in themselves, overweight and obesity also constitute risk factors in the development of certain non-communicable diseases, such as cardio-vascular diseases and diabetes. A 2015 report of the International Diabetes Federation revealed that, around, the world, 1 in 11 adults suffer from diabetes.
Water is the choice
The World Health Organization (WHO Obesity facts, 2017) defines the fundamental cause of overweight as an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. There is scientific evidence that the excessive consumption of added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, contributes to such an imbalance.
People tend to see losing weight as a matter of taking regular exercise and watching what they eat and to be less aware of the crucial importance of watching what they drink. Adopting healthy drinking habits, by switching from sugar-sweetened beverages to making water THE choice when it comes to daily hydration, contributes to decreasing calorie intake.
We take action
At Nestlé Waters, we see our role as being to inform consumers and help them to adopt healthy drinking habits. In the face of these major public-health challenges, we believe that our products and our participation in collective actions to promote healthy hydration as part of a healthy lifestyle, constitute a contribution to the well-being of society.
We are active as a partner of multiple-stakeholder campaigns promoting healthy hydration, such as “Time to move against obesity” in Turkey and “I choose water” in Poland.
The increasing prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity adds urgency to our priority of educating the next generation to favor healthy hydration. Our actions in this area include collaborations with Nestlé, through its “United for Healthier Kids” program (U4HK), in Mexico.
What you drink may impact your long-term quality of life
In many countries, sugar-sweetened beverages (high in sugar) are consumed frequently, especially by children and adolescents. In the UK, children aged 4-10 get around 17% of their daily sugar from soft drinks and fruit juices (Public Health England, 2015). If you consume one or two sugary soft drinks a day, your risk of developing diabetes increases by 25%. Replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water is of great public-health interest since water contains zero calories and zero sugar(1).
Sources: Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Despres JP, Willett WC, Hu FB, 2010