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What About Water?

June 15, 1998

While many Americans know that they should drink eight glasses of water a day, when it comes to getting them to drink it, you'd have better luck with a horse. And don't even get us started on the fact that people need even more water during exercise, roughly an extra 4 ounces for every 15 minutes of activity.

A survey of 3,003 Americans shows that:

* Americans consume 12.8 8-ounce servings of beverages each day, but only 4.6 are water.

* 65% of Americans know that eight 8-ounce glasses of water is the recommended daily serving.

* However, only 21% drink eight or more glasses a day.

* 35% drink three or fewer servings a day.

* 9% drink no water at all.

* St. Louis residents drink the least water of any of the participating cities in the survey.

* Several cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa and St. Louis, tend to avoid their tap water more than the national average.

* Sacramento and San Diego folks drink more water from 5-gallon coolers than do people from other participating cities.

* 4.9 servings of beverages that Americans consume daily are caffeine- or alcohol-containing beverages that dehydrate the body. The daily breakdown:

-- 1.8 servings of coffee

-- 1.3 carbonated soda with caffeine

-- 1.0 tea

-- 0.5 beer

-- 0.3 wine or other alcoholic beverages

Among the reasons Americans don't drink enough water:

-- 27% don't have enough time.

-- 11% don't feel thirsty.

-- 8% don't like the taste of water.

-- 7% forget to drink water.

-- 6% prefer other beverages.

-- 4% say no bottled water is available.

-- 2% are concerned about the quality of local tap water.

-- 2% say they can't leave their desk or workstation.

Source: Conducted by Yankelovich Partners for the Nutrition Information Center at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and the International Bottled Water Assn. Additional information from Brita Products Co.

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