Researchers have found a significant association between inadequate hydration and both elevated body mass index (BMI) and obesity according to findings published in the July/August 2016 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

"Our findings suggest that adequate hydration may play a role in weight and prompt further discussion regarding adequate hydration during weight management counseling," write Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, from the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues.

If obese people are not hydrating properly or are eating when they think they are hungry, but are actually thirsty, education may help differentiate the cues, the authors continue.

Water Needs Increase With Higher BMI

The authors note that clinicians may not be aware that people with higher BMIs need more water, and they may not be properly counseling them on hydration amounts.

"Obese individuals have higher water needs than nonobese individuals, because water needs depend upon metabolic rate, body surface area, and body weight," they explain.

The authors also note that poor hydration has also been linked to worsened mental, physical, and emotional health, and it may affect performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and memory skills. Declining mood, headaches, and poor kidney function have also been linked to inadequate hydration.


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