Public Health Nutr. 2022 Aug 19:1-23. doi: 10.1017/S1368980022001744. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to explain results of the Water Up!@Home randomized controlled trial where low-income parents were randomized to receive an educational intervention +a low-cost water filter pitcher or only the filter. Parents in both groups had reported statistically significant reductions in SSB and increases in water intake post-intervention.
DESIGN: Qualitative explanatory in-depth interviews analyzed thematically and deductively.
SETTING: Washington DC metropolitan area, US.
PARTICIPANTS: Low-income Latino parents of infants/toddlers who had participated in the Water UP! @Home randomized controlled trial.
RESULTS: The filter stimulated water consumption in both groups by: 1) increasing parents’ perception of water safety, 2) acting as a cue to action to drink water, 3) improving the flavor of water (which was linked to perceptions of safety), and 4) increasing the perception that this option was more economical than purchasing bottled water. Safe and palatable drinking water was more accessible and freely available in their homes; participants felt they did not need to ration their water consumption as before. Only intervention participants were able to describe a reduction in SSB intake and described strategies, skills, and knowledge gained to reduce SSB intake. Among the comparison group, there was no thematic consensus about changes in SSB or any strategies or skills to reduce SSB intake.
CONCLUSIONS: A low-cost water filter facilitated water consumption, which actively (or passively for comparison group) displaced SSB consumption. The findings have implications for understanding and addressing the role of water security on SSB consumption.