Healthy weight: it’s also about what you drink

According to WHO, overweight and obesity are now the fifth leading risk for global deaths: in 2008, over 500 million adults were obese. There is increasing evidence that the types of fluids we drink can have a long-term impact on health, influencing the development of overweight, obesity or metabolic diseases.

Excessive and regular intake of beverages containing sugar increases the energy intake compared to drinking water. Studies have shown that excessive and regular sugar-sweetened beverages intake can lead to increased body weight.

Healthy weight: it’s also about what you drink.

Healthy hydration is one of the levers to prevent obesity. 

That’s why we launched, in 2014, a 6-week program in schools in Poland to encourage children 3-6 years old to drink more water.

The “Mom, Dad, I prefer water” program aims at building healthy water intake habits among the youngest consumers and is supported by the Ministry of Health and Education, the National Center of Nutritional Education and the Institute of Mother and Child.

Group photo of the members of the AMAAS programme "Aku Mau Air Aku Sehat" in Indonesia

Danone Indonesia also focused on children in the program AMAAS (“Aku Mau Air Aku Sehat”). Through this national program, Danone Indonesia aims at instilling the good habits of drinking water 6 times a day, making water the main preference to hydrate and ensuring that water is as attractive as other colored drinks.

The measures implemented in such programs can be deployed more broadly and applied to parents.  

That’s why parents are also targeted in the program “Prefiero Agua Simple” by Danone de Mexico. The strategy includes games, student notebooks, audio stories, awareness talks to family members and is endorsed by the National Institute of Pediatrics.

This type of strategy to target a wider audience was also chosen by Danone Turkey with the “Power of Water” program. A mobile application was implemented to help to increase the awareness of the population about healthy hydration and instill healthier drinking habits. The Ministry of Education and The Uskudar University were actively involved in the project.

In these different programs, the strategies applied are similar and have led to encouraging impact results. An increase in awareness and knowledge on importance of water is globally reported. 

  • After the Turkish project, an increase by 24% and 37% vs. initiate data was noted on awareness concerning hydration level and importance of water. In the four countries where Danone has implemented a program on healthy hydration, there is an increase in water consumption in the intervention group.
  • In Poland, 58.2% of children concerned by the initiative were drinking more water and were doing so more frequently. The impact can be more significant.
  • In Bandung in Indonesia (among 595 students), students average drinks 5,76 times a day and two times out of three it is water. After the program, the opportunity to consume fluids during the day has increased by 24% and the proportion of water consumption is greater (four times out of five it is water).
  • In Mexico, a study on 777 children (413 in intervention group and 364 in control group) with a median age of 7.1 years was done. In the intervention group, after 8 months, the consumption of plain water increased of 167mL. In the control group, there are no significant variations in beverage consumption.
  • In Mexico and Indonesia (Jakarta and Bandung), a healthier fluid intake at the expense of sugary beverages is noticed after the application of local measures. 

The implementation of concrete actions, in collaboration with government, scientific and advisory partners is key to a serious and impactful program.