Background: Water consumption as a vital component of the human diet is under-researched in dietary surveys and nutrition studies. Aim: To assess total water and fluid intakes and examine demographic, anthropometric, and dietary factors associated with water consumption in the Australian population. Methods: Dietary intake data from the 2011 to 2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey were used. Usual water, fluid and food and nutrient intakes were estimated from two days of dietary recalls. Total water includes plain drinking water and moisture from all food and beverage sources; total fluids include plain drinking water and other beverages, but not food moisture. Results: The mean (SD) daily total water intakes for children and adolescents aged 2–18 years were 1.7 (0.6) L for males and 1.5 (0.4) L for females, and for adults aged 19 years and over were 2.6 (0.9) L for males and 2.3 (0.7) L for females. The majority of the population failed to meet the Adequate Intake (AI) values for total water intake (82%) and total fluids intake (78%) with the elderly at highest risk (90%–95%). The contributions of plain drinking water, other beverages and food moisture to total water intake were 44%, 27%, and 29%, respectively, among children and adolescents, and 37%, 37% and 25% among adults. The main sources of other beverages were full-fat plain milk and regular soft drinks for children and adolescents, and tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks for adults. For adults, higher total water intake was associated with lower percent energy from fat, saturated fat, and free sugars, lower sodium and energy-dense nutrient poor food intakes but higher dietary fibre, fruit, vegetable, caffeine, and alcohol intakes. No associations were found between total water consumption and body mass index (BMI) for adults and BMI z
-score for children and adolescents. Conclusion: Reported water consumption was below recommendations. Higher water intakes were suggestive of better diet quality.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited