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Keywords:

  • diet;
  • water consumption;
  • climate;
  • water fluoridation;
  • fluoride;
  • dental fluorosis

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this project was to describe current water consumption patterns and to compare them to findings from earlier studies. Current water consumption data also were used to reevaluate the association between water consumption and climate. These findings are of importance in estimating fluoride intake from fluoridated water. Methods: Findings from the 1994–96 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) were compared to those from two earlier dietary studies, the 1977–78 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) and the pioneering research of Galagan and colleagues in the 1950s. Food consumption data were analyzed for 14,619 persons with food and beverage intake data for two 24-hour periods in the CSFII. Results: Increased consumption of infant formulas and decreased consumption of tap water and cow's milk were seen in the CSFII for infants compared to the NFCS. Older children and adults showed increased consumption of carbonated beverages and juices. While Galagan and colleagues found about a 60 percent increase in water consumption between the coldest (55°F) and warmest (85°F) conditions, only a 20 percent difference was seen between the winter and summer months in certain regions in the CSFII. Conclusions: No obvious strong or consistent association between water intake and month or season was apparent in these recent data. These findings are preliminary, and suggest that water fluoridation policy requires further research regarding water consumption and climate.