181044 What's your color? Hydration made clear

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meghan Capp, MPH , Health Promotion Department, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan, Fpo, Ap, CA
Andrea Deen-Hampton, MPH , Health Promotion Department, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan, Fpo, Ap, CA
Background: Dehydration and heat injury are major concerns on the subtropical island of Okinawa, Japan. Sufficient hydration is necessary for sweating, which is the main mechanism the body uses to remove heat. In addition, dehydration can exacerbate many other medical issues.

Objectives: The project objectives are to increase hydration awareness, educate individuals on an easy, frequent, and free method to monitor their hydration levels.


An educational tool and outreach campaign entitled “What's Your Color?” was designed to make hydration a daily consideration by encouraging individuals to check their urine color against a graded color chart that translates to a hydrate level. The “What's Your Color?” charts were posted on bathroom stalls, in front of urinals and restrooms island-wide.


The “What's Your Color?” charts were widely distributed and posted in bathrooms. Barracks, offices, medical sites, mess hall/galleys, commissary/exchanges and gyms are the primary sites. We received and filled many requests for charts and continue to do so.

Conclusion: The campaign was successful based on survey results indicating that 88% of people reported knowing of the chart and using it to monitor hydration.


By targeting the frequently visited bathroom as an opportunity to educate and motivate behavior modification to improve health, the “What's Your Color?” campaign provides a valuable evaluation tool that promotes hydration at a very low resource cost. This innovation is completely sustainable, easily accessible via electronic resources, and can be replicated in any environment, including in operational medicine.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe a low cost tool to monitor hydration levels. 2.Apply a health promotion campaign to improve hydration awareness.

Keywords: Water, Dietary Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the of the implementation and management of the hydration awareness campaign and health promotions programs for the US Naval Hospital in Okinawa Japan.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.