Middle School Student Attitudes about School Drinking Fountains and Water Intake
Published Date:2014 Sep-Oct
Source:Acad Pediatr. 2014; 14(5):471-477.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4193898
Funding:1 K23 HD067305-01A1/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
K23 HD067305/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
R24 MD001648/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
R24MD001648/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
U48/DP000056/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
Describe middle school student attitudes about school drinking fountains, investigate whether such attitudes are associated with intentions to drink water at school, and determine how intentions relate to overall water intake.
Students (n=3,211) in 9 California middle schools completed surveys between 2009–2011. We used multivariate linear regression, adjusting for school sociodemographic characteristics, to examine how attitudes about fountains (5-point scale; higher scores indicating more positive attitudes) were associated with intentions to drink water at school and how intentions to drink water at school were related to overall water intake.
Mean age of students was 12.3 (SD=0.7) years; 75% were Latino, 89% low-income, and 39% foreign-born. Fifty-two percent reported lower than recommended overall water intake (<3 glasses/day), and 30% reported that they were unlikely or extremely unlikely to drink water at school. Fifty-nine percent reported that school fountains were unclean, 48% that fountain water does not taste good, 33% that fountains could make them sick, 31% that it was not okay to drink from fountains, and 24% that fountain water is contaminated. In adjusted analyses, attitudes about school drinking fountains were related to intentions to drink water at school (B=0.41; p-value <0.001); intentions to drink water at school were also associated with overall water intake (B=0.20; p-value <0.001).
Conclusions and Relevance
Students have negative attitudes about school fountains. To increase overall water intake, it may be important to promote and improve drinking water sources not only at school, but also at home and in other community environments.
Although most schools provide water via fountains, little is known about student attitudes about fountains. In this study, middle school students had negative attitudes about fountains; such attitudes were associated with lower intentions to drink water at school.
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