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The Relationship of Perceptions of Tap Water Safety with Intake of Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Plain Water among U.S. Adults
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  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Nutr
  • Description:
    Objective Research is limited on whether mistrust of tap water discourages plain water intake and leads to greater intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB). The objective of this study is to examine demographic differences in perceptions of tap water safety and determine if these perceptions are associated with intake of SSB and plain water Design The study examined perceptions of tap water safety and their cross-sectional association with intake of SSB and plain water. Racial/ethnic differences in the associations of tap water perceptions with SSB and plain water intake were also examined. Setting Nationally weighted data from 2010 HealthStyles Survey (n=4184) Subjects United States adults ≥18 years Results Overall, 13.0% of participants disagreed that their local tap water was safe to drink and 26.4% of participants agreed that bottled water was safer than tap water. Both mistrust of tap water safety and favoring bottled water differed by region, age, race/ethnicity, income, and education. The associations of tap water mistrust on intake of SSB and plain water were modified by race/ethnicity (p<0.05). Non-white racial/ethnic groups who disagreed that their local tap water was safe to drink were more likely to report low intake of plain water. The odds of consuming ≥1 SSB/day among Hispanics who mistrusted their local tap water was twice that of Hispanics who did not (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.3). Conclusions Public health efforts to promote healthy beverages should recognize the potential impact of tap water perceptions on water and SSB intake among minority populations.
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