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UO Study: Water Promotes Better Eating

By Nha Nguyen

EUGENE, Ore. — What parent doesn’t have a hard time trying to get their kids to eat their veggies?

The study took kids ages 3 to 5 and tested if they ate more vegetables depending on what they drank.

It revealed children ate more raw vegetables, like carrots and red peppers, when paired with water.

That’s compared to sweetened drinks like soda, juice or even sweet tea.

First author and UO Marketing Professor Bettina Cornwell says researchers were surprised it made such a difference.

“I had a man come up and hug me and say, ‘I get it. We didn’t even think about that.’ It’s kind of obvious. But if you don’t think in terms of water having an effect on food, you might not even consider serving only water,” Cornwell said.

The study also revealed that young adults favored soda and salty foods rather than vegetables.

Cornwell says many of our food preferences are actually learned and habitualized.

She says if we start teaching at a young age, we might all be better off.

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