Monday, June 27, 2016

Keep Children Healthy through Hydration

It is estimated that more than half of all children and adolescents in the U.S. are not getting enough hydration, most likely because they are not drinking enough water.  View Harvard School of Public Health study.

Water and sufficient hydration are essential for physiological processes such as circulation, metabolism, temperature regulation, and waste removal.  Drinking enough water is especially important in Colorado, where we live at elevation and the climate is arid, dry and hot during the summer months.  

Jeffco Sips Smart is a new coalition working to increase healthy beverage, especially water, availability and consumption in Jefferson County through education, partnerships and supportive policies. Why are healthy beverages so important? Hydration is essential to health and well-being and yet too often the drinks that are available contain a lot of added sugar.  Sugary drinks cause serious health concerns. Consuming just one sugary drink per day can add an extra 39 pounds of sugar in a person’s diet each year! This added sugar from just one sugary drink a day can lead to cavities, weight gain, diabetes and heart disease for both adults and children. 

What is a healthy beverage? The basic definition is one with no added sugar. The best options include tap water, water with fruit, sparkling water with natural flavor, unflavored milk, and unsweetened tea or coffee. 100% juice has a lot more sugar than people may think, thus, it is best if consumed in 4-6 oz. servings just a few times per week, especially for children. Sugary drinks include all beverages sweetened with various types of sugar that add calories, including carbonated sodas, sports and energy drinks, lemonade, sweetened teas and coffees and other sweetened fruit juice drinks. 

Try a Jeffco Sips Smart solution for improving hydration and carry a reusable water bottle with you and have your children do so as well.  Drinking more water will help improve overall health. 

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