IBWA Applauds 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for Recognizing Water as Essential Part of a Healthy Diet

Alexandria, VA –The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today applauds the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and their recognition of water’s importance to a healthy diet.

“Water, including bottled water, helps people pursue a healthy lifestyle and avoid sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and we are happy to see the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) reflect this important fact,” said IBWA President and CEO, Joe Doss. “Water also plays a vital role in supporting nutritional health. Because 47 percent of added sugars in our diets come from beverages – and 20 percent of our daily caloric intake – it is clear that Americans need guidance on how to be more aware of what they drink and to reduce their calorie consumption from beverages.”

The 2015 DGAs provide strong support for the important role played by water in Americans’ diets, and support the increased access to and availability of water as a healthy beverage choice. In particular, the new DGAs note that calorie-free beverages – especially water – should be the primary beverages consumed. In addition, the 2015 DGAs encourage a shift to healthier food and beverage choices, which “include choosing beverages with no added sugars, such as water, in place of sugar-sweetened beverages….”

The DGAs recommend that Americans significantly reduce their intake of added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calories – about one 16 ounce soft drink. So, when it comes to beverages, the smart and healthy move is to choose water first for thirst. Limiting sugary beverages and drinking more water – including bottled water – is one of the easiest ways to follow the new nutrition advice from America’s top scientists.

Awareness of water’s important and healthy role in American’s dietary choices continues to grow. Recognizing the importance of water, the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s MyPlate MyWins guide specifically highlights the need to choose water instead of sugary drinks.

“It is important to acknowledge that convenience and availability are key in getting people to change habits, like drinking more water,” said Doss. “Consumers should be encouraged to reach for bottled water instead of less-healthy packaged beverages. This is why bottled water should always be available where other convenience drinks are sold.”

The United States is an on-the-go society that depends on convenience when making food and beverage choices. Ideally, water should be accessible to people everywhere, and the bottled water industry supports a reliable public drinking water infrastructure. However, much of what people drink comes in a package and as a result, today, almost half of the water people drink comes in a bottle. However it is accessed, drinking water – tap, filtered, or bottled water – in the home as well as when out and about is always an important and healthy choice.

The 2015 DGAs state that “[a]bout half of all American adults have one or more preventable, diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and overweight and obesity.” Studies have shown that drinking plain water, instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, is associated with a decrease in the incidence of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People of all ages need to maintain proper hydration to function optimally, but healthy hydration helps ensure the prevention of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. According to the Institute of Medicine and the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, one-third of American adults are overweight and another one-third is obese.  And, over the last 30 years, children’s obesity rates have climbed from 5 percent to 17 percent. Encouraging the consumption of water, and increasing its availability in all formats including bottled water, is a smart and direct way to help Americans make healthier beverage choices.

IBWA applauds the efforts of leading scientists to include water on the iconic MyPlate graphic as a way to promote water consumption. On October 23, 2015, 14 leading scientists, nutritionists, and academicians sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging them to include "strong language" in the DGA encouraging water consumption and to have a symbol for water consumption added to the MyPlate nutrition guide.

To learn more about bottled water, please visit IBWA’s website at www.bottledwater.org.

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NOTE: Photos/head shots available upon request

Media Contact:
Jill Culora
jculora@bottledwater.org
703.647.4609

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.

In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.

IBWA is proud to help support Drink Up!, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages everyone to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.

Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or visit IBWA's website (www.bottledwater.org) for more information about bottled water. Media inquiries can be directed to IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora at 703-647-4609 or jculora@bottledwater.org.