New Study Finds That People Who Aren't Properly Hydrated Are More Likely to Be Obese

Here's yet another reason to put down the soda and pick up a glass of water.

According to a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, being dehydrated could have effect on one's waistline. It's one argument in a growing body of evidence that links water intake to trim waistlines.
The University of Michigan's Tammy Chang, M.D., and her colleagues used data from a national health survey of nearly 9,500 adults and conducted urine tests to determine participants' hydration levels.


"What we found was that people who were inadequately hydrated had increased odds of being obese," said Chang.

The study found that people who aren't properly hydrated have higher body weights — and are 1.59 times more likely to be obese. There are a couple of explanations for the findings. First, drinking water helps you feel full. "Over several months, people who are drinking water before their meal lose more weight," Eric Rimm of the Harvard School of Public Health told NPR, referring to a small study where dieters who drank water before meals had more success. (Rimm cautioned that it's unclear if the effects are long term or not.)


Secondly, people who choose water over sugary sodas reduce their caloric intake, resulting in weight gain at a "much slower rate," Rimm said. A study published earlier this year found that people who drank seven cups of water a day consumed an average of 205 fewer calories than people who drank just the average four cups of water.

But other studies, according to CNN, have found a link between water consumption and weight gain—how can that be? Chang said it's about hydration.

"Water consumption is not an ideal measure of hydration," Chang told CNN. "The amount of water it takes to stay hydrated depends on your body size and many other factors like your activity level and the climate you live in."

One theory is that people with obesity need more water than people with lower body weights, TIME notes.
While the latest study doesn't prove that staying hydrated helps people lose weight, Chang said it's an indicator that hydration deserves more attention in the national conversation about obesity on a population level

From: Womans Day 
Photo by Getty 

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