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Is healthy drinking water readily available at schools? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Is healthy drinking water readily available at schools?

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NEW YORK -

Studies show that drinking water helps children stay at a healthy weight and can help them stay focused in the classroom. Now a new study takes a look at whether water is readily available at schools

7-year-old Gavin Fedelizo drinks plenty of water at school.

CBS News Reporter Alexis Christoforous: What's your favorite drink?

Fedelizo: Water, because it doesn't have sugar and it's healthy.

A new study shows most schools are meeting a new government mandate to make free drinking water available to students during lunch.

"In about 70 percent of schools they were using existing drinking fountains that had already been there. In about 20 percent of schools they were using other strategies," said Dr. Lindsey Turner from the University of Illinois.

At Public School 89 and other New York City schools, water jets like these make fresh cold water available on tap.

"We've seen certainly an increase in the consumption of water. We now go through about 2 million gallons of water a year through our water jets," said Eric Goldstein, CEO for School Support Services, NYC Department of Education.

Water is key to overall health, yet numbers show about a third of children drink the recommended amount.

In general, kids should drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water a day.

"One of the really important considerations here is that if kids are drinking water, they may be less likely to drink sugary beverages," said Dr. Turner.

But researchers found some students may be avoiding water at school; concerned water fountains are not clean.

In 2011, the government mandated that schools participating in the national school lunch program give students access to free drinking water.

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