HealthDay News — In a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, adequate hydration may be associated with a lower risk of obesity.

Water intake was assessed as adequate or inadequate based on urine samples provided for the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2012. The 9,528 participants ranged in age from 18 to 64, and nearly one-third were deemed inadequately hydrated.

“Those who were inadequately hydrated had higher body mass indexes than those who were adequately hydrated,” study leader Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, told HealthDay.

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Also, people who took in too little water daily had higher odds of being obese compared to those who consumed enough (odds ratio, 1.59). That link held even after the researchers compensated for factors such as age, gender, and income.

“This relationship has not previously been shown on a population level and suggests that water, an essential nutrient, may deserve greater focus in weight management research and clinical strategies,” the authors write.


Chang T, Ravi N, Plegue MA, Sonneville KR, Davis MM. Inadequate Hydration, BMI, and Obesity Among US Adults: NHANES 2009-2012. Ann Fam Med. 2016;14(4):320-4. doi: 10.1370/afm.1951.

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