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Color of urine to be valid gauge for hydration in children, researcher finds

Date:
June 24, 2015
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
More than half of American children are dehydrated, and a researcher has found an easy way for children to gauge hydration using established protocols already in place for athletes. The research also shows that children can accurately self-assess hydration levels using established methods. Mild dehydration in children has been linked to reduced cognitive functioning and is associated with poorer school performance in children.
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Athletes and the military have used color charts to track hydration levels for years, and a new study in the European Journal of Nutrition by a U of A researcher found the same method of self-assessment is effective for children.

Stavros Kavouras, a leading expert in hydration and associate professor in the College of Education and Health Professions, along with seven collaborators, including Evan C. Johnson, U of A postdoctoral fellow, tested whether the 8-point urine color scale was a valid method for children aged 8 to 14 years old to assess their own hydration levels.

Their findings, published this spring, found that not only does the urine color scale apply to hydration levels in children, but that children are able to accurately use the chart to determine their own hydration levels.

"The establishment of an acute measurement tool would give an anchor to allow children to be more aware of their hydration status and to improve hydration practices," Kavouras said.

A study in the American Journal of Public Health this month found that half of American children are inadequately hydrated, with boys showing the highest levels of dehydration.

"The need for valid hydration assessment within children is apparent because both U.S. and European children have been observed to fall short of daily water recommendations," Kavouras said.

Mild dehydration in children has been linked to reduced cognitive functioning and is associated with poorer school performance in children.


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Materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stavros A. Kavouras, Evan C. Johnson, Dimitris Bougatsas, Giannis Arnaoutis, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Erica Perrier, Alexis Klein. Validation of a urine color scale for assessment of urine osmolality in healthy children. European Journal of Nutrition, 2015; DOI: 10.1007/s00394-015-0905-2

Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Color of urine to be valid gauge for hydration in children, researcher finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150624140134.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2015, June 24). Color of urine to be valid gauge for hydration in children, researcher finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150624140134.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Color of urine to be valid gauge for hydration in children, researcher finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150624140134.htm (accessed May 25, 2017).

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