Initiatives to encourage people to drink more water are driven by vested interests rather than a need for better health, according to one Australian researcher.
Writing an editorial (found here ) in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Spero Tsindos from La Trobe University noted that humans need about two litres of fluids per day – not two litres of water specifically.
“Health and dietary authorities currently encourage Australians to consume eight glasses, or two litres, of fluid daily for optimal health,” writes Tsindos.
“This has been misinterpreted to mean two litres of water specifically and it has driven a steady growth in the use of bottled water over the years.”
Tsindos believes that encouraging people to drink more water is driven by vested interests, rather than a need for better health. “Thirty years ago you didn't see a plastic water bottle anywhere, now they appear as fashion accessories."
"Research has also revealed that water in food eaten has a greater benefit in weight reduction than avoiding foods altogether. We should be telling people that beverages like tea and coffee contribute to a person's fluid needs and despite their caffeine content, do not lead to dehydration."
"We need to maintain fluid balance and should drink water, but also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices."
Tsindos opined that bottled water is a token of ‘instant gratification and symbolism’.
“The very bottle itself is seen as cool and hip," he said.