UK children are not drinking enough

A new research study carried out at the University of Sheffield has found that almost two thirds of children are not drinking enough at breakfast time to be ‘properly hydrated’.

Stay hydrated

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 3rd May 2012

The study was commissioned by Nestle Waters, and the researchers from the University of Sheffield Medical School examined data from 452 children from 12 schools in Sheffield in what is believed to be the first study of its kind in the UK.  It was found that almost 60% of the children were not ‘sufficiently hydrated’, which is the stage just below ‘clinical dehydration’.

Study findings are ‘concerning’

Professor Gerard Friedlander from the Descartes University Medical School in Paris oversaw the study and said that the findings mirrored recent research findings from the USA and France, where they found 64% and 62.2% of children respectively were not sufficiently hydrated.  He said:

“We are concerned by the findings of the study, which suggest that children are not consuming enough fluid at the beginning of the day to be able to maintain adequate hydration through the morning.  We want to raise awareness of the importance of hydration in children and strongly encourage parents and carers to make sure their child drinks enough at breakfast time so that they maintain good hydration, in case they don’t drink again until lunchtime.”

Advice for parents

Child psychologist Pat Spungin said:

“”Although it can sometimes be tricky to get children to drink water, the key is to encourage drinking little and often. Make sure they have a glass of water before going to school and perhaps pack a bottle in their school bag, so they can take regular sips.”

Source:  UK Press Association, Children ‘not properly hydrated’,  3rd May 2012

Photography: Lindsey Gee @Flickr 


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