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Is Bottled Water Good for Weight Loss?

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bottled water

Water is the best beverage for staying hydrated and avoiding extra calories, but it’s not necessary to buy it in a plastic bottle. The bottled water industry promotes bottled water as being healthier, yet the reality is that bottled water is less regulated for quality than tap water. Plus it is more expensive and can be environmentally unfriendly, too.

Before buying bottled water, consider these facts:

  • Bottled water can cost nearly 2,000 times as much as tap water.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for regulating municipal tap water are far more rigorous in terms of control, disinfection and monitoring than those used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee bottled water. In fact, a National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) study of the bottled water industry, tested over 1,000 bottles of water, and concluded that bottled water is not guaranteed to be any cleaner or safer than tap water. The study found that approximately 25 percent of bottled water was tap water packaged in a bottle and 22 percent of the samples contained chemical contaminants above the strict state limits on municipal tap water.
  • Bottled water companies are not required to disclose information about their products. A recent report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) indicates that more than half of the bottled water products surveyed failed EWG's transparency test. According to the report, 18 percent of the companies failed to reveal the source of the water and another 32 percent did not disclose any information about the treatment or purity of the water.
  • Studies have also shown that chemicals called phthalates, which disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap water, there are no legal limits for phthalates in bottled water.
  • Although plastic bottles are recyclable, nearly 90 percent of them end up as litter or garbage contributing more than 2 million tons of plastic to landfills each year.

A comprehensive list of the tap-water contaminants in your area is available on the EPA website. If you are concerned about the quality or flavor of your tap water, purchase a water filter to put on your tap. It is both easier on your wallet and on the environment. To keep filtered water accessible to drink when you’re on the go, put it in your own reusable bottle to carry with you throughout the day.

- Cara Stewart, RD, LDN

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