Author(s): MontenegroBethancourt G
BACKGROUND: Water is an essential nutrient, but recommendations for total water requirements only emerged in 2005, in the context of estimated average population targets in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for US and Canadian societies.
OBJECTIVE: To assess total daily water acquisition, and the contribution of water acquired from all possible sources, among Guatemalan children.
METHODS: A total of 449 urban Guatemalan schoolchildren, aged 8 to 11 years, evenly divided between two socioeconomic strata, completed a 1-day pictorial registry of all foods and beverages consumed. Estimated energy intake, total water intake, and the contributions of water from drinking water, beverages, intrinsic and extrinsic water in foods, and the oxidation of macronutrients were assessed.
RESULTS: The contribution of water from the examined water sources was 8% for drinking water, 49% for beverages, 29% for all foods, and 14% for metabolism of macronutrients, with only slight variance across sexes and social class. The average total daily water acquisition was 1,841 +/- 572 mL for boys and 1,834 +/- 484 mL for girls, which fall short of the North American DRI recommendations of 2.4 and 2.1 L, respectively There was correspondingly lower average consumption of dietary liquids.
CONCLUSIONS: Foods play an important role in the acquisition of water from their hydration and metabolic oxidation, contributing 43.8% of the daily supply to these children. There is still a calculated shortfall of daily water acquisition, as compared with the DRI recommendations, which could be overcome by greater intake of plain water and low-energy fresh produce.