Public Health Nutrition


Current patterns of water and beverage consumption among Mexican children and adolescents aged 1–18 years: analysis of the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012

Carmen Piernasa1, Simon Barqueraa2 and Barry M Popkina1 c1

a1 Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 123 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA

a2 Nutrition and Health Research Center, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico


Objective To evaluate patterns of water consumption from plain water, beverages and foods among Mexican children and adolescents and to compare actual patterns of total daily water intake with the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI).

Design We analysed one 24 h dietary recall from Mexican children and adolescents. We calculated intakes of total daily water and water from foods and from beverages. Actual total water intake per capita was subtracted from the DRI for water to calculate the shortfall.

Setting Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey in 2012.

Subjects Mexican children and adolescents (n 6867) aged 1–18 years.

Results Approximately 73 % of children and adolescents aged 1–18 years reported drinking plain water. Beverages and plain water represented 65·5 % and 26·5 % of total daily water intake, respectively. Among 1–3-year-olds, the top three main sources of water were from foods, plain water and water from plain milk. Among 4–8- and 9–13-year-olds, the main sources were from foods, plain water and agua fresca (fruit water). Among 14–18-year-olds, the main sources of water were plain water, water from foods and soda. A higher proportion of 1–3-year-olds and 4–8-year-olds met the DRI for water (38 % and 29 %, respectively). Among 9–13-year-olds and 14–18-year-olds, 13–19 % of children met the DRI for water.

Conclusions Total daily water intakes remain below DRI levels in all age groups. Although plain water still contributes the greatest proportion to daily water intake among fluids, caloric beverages are currently major sources of water especially among older children and adolescents.

(Received December 03 2013)

(Revised April 10 2014)

(Accepted April 15 2014)

(Online publication May 27 2014)


  • Water consumption;
  • Beverages;
  • Children;
  • Hydration;
  • Mexico


c1 Corresponding author: Email