Water and beverage consumption among children aged 4-13 years in France: analyses of INCA 2 (Étude Individuelle Nationale des Consommations Alimentaires 2006-2007) data

Public Health Nutr. 2016 Sep;19(13):2305-14. doi: 10.1017/S1368980015003614. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


Objective: To examine the consumption of plain water among children in France and compare total water intakes with guidelines issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Design: Nationally representative data were used to assess food, beverage and water consumption by sex, age group (4-8 years, 9-13 years), income-to-poverty ratio, eating occasion and location. Beverages were classified into nine groups: water (tap or bottled), milk, 100 % fruit juice, sodas, fruit drinks, hot beverages, sports drinks and flavoured waters. Total water volume in relation to energy intake (litres/kcal) was also examined.

Setting: INCA 2 study (Étude Individuelle Nationale des Consommations Alimentaires 2006-2007).

Subjects: French children (n 835) aged 4-13 years.

Results: Total water intakes were accounted for by plain water (34 %), beverages (26 %) and food moisture (40 %). Plain water could be tap (18 %) or bottled (16 %). Older children drank more plain water than did younger children and boys drank more plain water than did girls. No socio-economic gradient for plain water consumption was observed. About 90 % of children did not meet the EFSA water intake recommendations. The daily water shortfall ranged from 367 to 594 ml/d. Water-to-energy ratio was 0·75-0·77 litres/1000 kcal (4184 kJ). Children drank milk at breakfast and plain water during lunch and dinner. Caloric beverages provided 10 % of dietary energy; consumption patterns varied by eating location.

Conclusions: Total water intakes among young children in France were below EFSA-recommended levels. Analyses of beverage consumption patterns by eating occasion and location can help identify ways to increase water consumption among children.

Keywords: Beverage consumption; Water; Water consumption; Water intake recommendation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Beverages*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drinking*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Water*


  • Water