IBWA Tells HHS, USDA That Water Is Essential To Heathy Diet

March 24, 2015

Alexandria, VA –The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today provided oral testimony at a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) public meeting regarding the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report.

In prepared comments, Tamika Sims, PhD, IBWA director of science and research, applauded the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) recognition of water’s importance to a healthy diet.

“Water, including bottled water, helps people pursue a healthy lifestyle and avoid sugar-sweetened beverage consumption,” said Dr. Sims. She also noted that water plays a vital role in supporting nutritional health. “Because 47 percent of added sugars in our diets, and 20 percent of our daily caloric intake, come from beverages, it is clear that Americans need guidance on how to be more aware of what they drink and to reduce their calorie consumption from beverages.”

Research shows that when bottled water isn't available, many consumers will instead choose a sweetened beverage. At the same time, 96 percent of Americans believe that we should be drinking more water. Dr. Sims remarked that the U.S. is an on-the-go society that often depends on convenience when making food and beverage choices. Thus, consumption of free water is not always a practical choice for consumers. In cases where free tap water is not available, consumers should be encouraged to reach for bottled water instead of less-healthy packaged beverages.

Dr. Sims also told HHS and USDA that from an environmental standpoint, when people choose bottled water instead of any other canned or bottled beverage, they are choosing less packaging, less energy consumption, and less use of natural resources.

“We recommend enhanced messaging on water consumption in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, including language that promotes drinking water in all forms,” said Dr. Sims. “In addition, related information and documents, such as the “MyPlate” should also promote water consumption,” she added.

To read IBWA’s testimony, please click here.