In France, 62.2% of children aged between 9 and 11 arrive at school in the morning dehydrated

February 7, 2012

Nestlé Waters France recently announced the results of its survey on the hydration status of French schoolchildren. According to survey results,  62.2 % of the children aged between nine and eleven arrive at school without the proper levels of hydration.

It is important for children, regardless of their age and weight, to drink enough of fluids during the day to ensure that their organs (heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, etc.) are sufficiently hydrated in order to function properly.

The research, based on a sample of 529 French school children, analysed the urine concentration (osmolality) of children in the morning at least 30 minutes after breakfast. A questionnaire established the type and quantity of foods and drinks consumed during breakfast.

The average age of the children included in the study was nine and a half, with an almost equal number of girls and boys. Based on  criteria published by the International Obesity Task Force, 27.7% of the children were overweight and 5.5% obese. The average Body Mass Index (BMI) was 16.4 +- 2 Kg/m². While 90% of the children had eaten breakfast, the rest had consumed neither  foods nor drinks.

Almost two thirds (62.2%) of the children in the survey had a hydration deficit, more often boys (72.5%) than girls (51.6%). In addition, the majority of the children (73.5%) had drunk less than 400 ml of fluids (water and other drinks) at breakfast and, for this reason, had a higher risk of high urine osmolality when surveyed. 

The survey concluded that the volume of fluids consumed at breakfast is insufficient to maintain adequate hydration throughout the morning and that additional fluid intake before lunch time is therefore needed. 

The research was carried out by the Institut Européen d’Expertise en Physiologie (IEEP), under the direction of Professor Gérard Friedlander – Head of the Physiology Department at Georges Pompidou Hospital and at the Necker Children’s Hospital, Director of INSERM U 845 ‘Growth and signalling’ research centre and teacher of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine at University Paris-Descartes.

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