Water intake overlooked in obese individuals

July 11, 2016, University of Michigan Health System

Researchers are learning whether a simple part of our diets might be linked to a healthier weight - and it has nothing to do with carbs, fat or protein.

The potential secret weapon? Water.

People who are obese and have a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to be inadequately hydrated and vice versa, suggests new research from the University of Michigan published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

"The link between hydration and weight is not clear. Our study further explains this relationship on a population level using an objective measure of hydration," says lead author Tammy Chang, M.D., MPH, MS, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the U-M Medical School.

Although the correlation requires further probing, Chang noted that hydration has lately been considered a cornerstone of a weight-loss diet. "We often hear recommendations that drinking water is a way to avoid overeating because you may be thirsty rather than hungry," she says.

Chang and colleagues looked at a nationally representative sample of 9,528 adults from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Roughly a third of the adults, who spanned ages 18 to 64, were inadequately hydrated.

The study suggests that people with higher BMIs - who are expected to have higher water needs—might also demonstrate behaviors that lead to inadequate hydration.

Authors note that because the data is cross-sectional, they cannot say that inadequate hydration causes obesity or the other way around. But their findings highlight an important relationship between the two.

Chang says eating healthy foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can improve hydration status though more studies are needed to know whether hydration status can influence weight.

"Hydration may be overlooked in adult weight management strategies," says Chang, who is also a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI).

"Our findings suggest that hydration may deserve more attention when thinking about addressing obesity on a . Staying hydrated is good for you no matter what, and our study suggests it may also be linked to maintaining a healthy weight."

Explore further: Researcher finds color of urine to be valid gauge for hydration in children

Related Stories

Researcher finds color of urine to be valid gauge for hydration in children

June 23, 2015
Athletes and the military have used color charts to track hydration levels for years, and a new study in the European Journal of Nutrition by a U of A researcher found the same method of self-assessment is effective for children.

Study finds inadequate hydration among US children

June 11, 2015
More than half of all children and adolescents in the U.S. are not getting enough hydration—probably because they're not drinking enough water—a situation that could have significant repercussions for their physical health ...

Inadequate hydration can lead to impaired cognitive, emotional function

July 30, 2015
More than half of all children and adolescents in the United States are under-hydrated—probably because they're not drinking enough water—and that could have significant repercussions for their physical health and cognitive ...

Scientists assess hydration potential of different drinks

June 1, 2016
Scientists at the universities of Stirling, Loughborough and Bangor are calling for the creation of a beverage hydration index to help people understand how different drinks can keep you hydrated.

Two-thirds of young swimmers dehydrated, study shows

May 6, 2016
About two-thirds of young athletes in a local swim club showed up for morning practice already dehydrated and never caught up with optimal hydration levels throughout the day, according to a study published in the Journal ...

Central venous pressure-guided hydration beneficial in CKD, CHF

December 11, 2015
(HealthDay)—For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) undergoing coronary procedures, central venous pressure (CVP)-guided hydration is associated with reduced risk of contrast-induced ...

Recommended for you

Love organic foods? Your odds for some cancers may fall

October 22, 2018
Paying extra for those pricey organic fruits and vegetables might pay off: New research suggests eating them might help you dodge a cancer diagnosis.

A topical gel that can prevent nerve damage due to spraying crops with pesticides

October 22, 2018
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in India has developed a topical get that can be used by farmers to prevent nerve damage due to chemical crop spraying. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Moderate exercise before conception resulted in lower body weight, increased insulin sensitivity of offspring

October 22, 2018
Men who want to have children in the near future should consider hitting the gym.

Modern conflict: Screen time vs. nature

October 22, 2018
Even rural kids today spend more time in front of screens and less time outdoors, according to a new study of middle-school students in South Carolina.

Community health workers can reduce hospitalizations by 65 percent and double patient satisfaction with primary care

October 22, 2018
Community health workers—trusted laypeople from local communities who help high-risk patients to address social issues like food and housing insecurity—can help reduce hospital stays by 65 percent and double the rate ...

Adding refined fiber to processed food could have negative health effects

October 19, 2018
Adding highly refined fiber to processed foods could have negative effects on human health, such as promoting liver cancer, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Toledo.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.