January 14, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, VA— Alarming new statistics from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) indicate that 34% of Americans are obese, just under 6% are extremely or morbidly obese, and another 32.7% are considered overweight, according to data from a report released January 9, 2009, by CDCP’s National Center for Health Statistics in Rockville, MD.  The International Bottled Water Association would therefore remind Americans that drinking water – be it bottled or tap – is an important part of a healthy diet.

The data in the report indicates almost three-quarters (or 72.7%) of all Americans weigh more than is healthy for their individual body types.  According to the CDCH, “The prevalence of obesity in America has doubled in the past two decades.”  As the CDCH report further notes: “A high prevalence of overweight and obesity is of great public health concern because excess body fat leads to a higher risk for premature death, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, respiratory dysfunction, gout, osteoarthritis, and certain kinds of cancers.”

“Good hydration – with plenty of calorie-free water –has got to part of the solution to this alarming and preventable problem,” said IBWA President and CEO Joe Doss.  “We recommend that everyone drink more water every day. And bottled water is a safe, healthy beverage choice, whether at home or office or on the go.   During emergencies, we see how critical bottled water is for disaster-stricken communities and the importance of a coordinated, effective response to get drinking water to people in need.  Obesity is now a public health emergency, but for this problem, tap water has as large a role to play as bottled water. ”

Water is an excellent choice for consumers who wish to avoid or moderate calories, caffeine, sugar or the various ingredients found in other beverages. “Any actions by legislators or activist groups that would discourage the consumption of water because it happens to be a container (as nearly all beverages are) are not in the public’s best interest,” said Doss.  “We should all work together to encourage consumption of water.”

In order to help individuals determine their personal hydration goals, IBWA features Hydration Calculator on its website.  It is an interactive tool based on expert resources and the most current findings of the National Academy of Sciences, as reported in its February 2004 report, "Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate.”  IBWA’s Hydration Calculator provides helpful suggestions about an individual’s total fluid intake derived from both beverages and food, and other information about water's vital role in refreshment, health and hydration. 

To use the IBWA Hydration Calculator, visit http://www.bottledwater.org/public/hydratio_main.htm.