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Dr. Max Gomez: Schools Work To Make Water More Accessible To Students

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- Kids are not drinking enough water.

As CBS 2's Dr. Max Gomez explained, some schools have been given a direct order to help correct a dangerous trend.

Studies have shown that drinking water can help children maintain a healthy weight and stay focused in the classroom. Now, a new study has taken a look at whether water is readily available in schools and if kids are actually drinking it.

Gavin Fedelizo told CBS 2's Dr. Gomez that he drinks plenty of water in school.

"Because it doesn't have sugar and it's healthy," Fedelizo said.

The study showed that most schools have met a government mandate to make free drinking water available to students during lunch.

"In about 70 percent of schools they were using existing drinking fountains that had already been there. In about 20 percent of schools they were using other strategies," study author, Dr. Lindsey Turner, University of Illinois, said.

At P.S. 89 water jets make fresh, cold water available on tap.

"We've seen certainly an increase in the consumption of water. We now go through about 2-million gallons of water a year through our water jets," Department of Education, CEO for School Support Services, Eric Goldstein explained.

In general, kids should drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water a day for overall health. However, numbers show about a third of children drink the recommended amount, and one-quarter of adolescents actually drink less than one serving of water a day.

"One of the really important considerations here is that if kids are drinking water they may be less likely to drink sugary beverages," Dr. Turner said.

Researchers found that some students may be avoiding school water fountains over concerns that the fountains aren't clean.

Experts also added that the key to getting kids to drink water is making it easy for them. If students have to ask permission to go to the fountain or stand in line to get water they're not going to drink enough water. One suggested approach involves placing water pitchers at cafeteria tables and cups at drinking fountains.

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