MILAN – Straight from the US, the latest facts on hydration amongst the younger members of society. Over half of American children and teenagers end up getting dehydrated, because during the day, they do not drink enough water – an element which is essential for our health. It has been well-established that the lack of fluids in our bodies can have serious repercussions for our physical health, especially on a cognitive and emotional level. These data have been gathered in a study by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. One piece of research has also appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, where experts have found ethnic discrepancies concerning the state of dehydration amongst America’s youth. Children and teenagers of black ethnicity in fact represent a higher percentage of kids at risk of dehydration, compared with their white counterparts. Similarly, the study indicates that boys are more at risk than girls.
Erica Kenney and Steven Gortmaker’s thoughts on the matter
Highlighting the study data, Erica Kenney, researcher at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan School, believes: “These results are significant because they indicate a potential health issue which has not received enough attention in the past, even if for the most part, this does not happen to the kids in the near future and does not represent a dramatic threat to health. But this is a problem that can really reduce quality of life and the wellbeing of so many children and young people”. The researchers have examined data collected between 2009 and 2012 on over 4,000 children and youth, aged between 6 and 19, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This was a study on child and adult health in the US, conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Steven Gortmaker, professor of the Sociology of Health, has also presented his own views on the problem of dehydration: "The good news is that this public health issue has a simple solution – states the professor – If we are able to focus on how kids can drink more water, we will be able to improve their level of hydration and this could enable many kids to feel better during the day and also do better at school”.
by editorial staff