197076 From Research to Policy Implementation: Improving Access to Drinking Water in Schools

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:30 AM

Karla Hampton, JD , Public Health Law and Policy, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA

Reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is an effective obesity prevention strategy. Clean and accessible drinking water in schools offers children a good alternative to the unhealthy beverages that are widely available on campus.

As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar, Dr. Anisha Patel is researching barriers to water accessibility in schools. The National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN) is funded by RWJF to provide legal technical assistance to the childhood obesity prevention movement and is collaborating with Dr. Patel to develop resources to help schools overcome these barriers.


To identify legal issues implicated in the barriers to water accessibility and describe NPLAN resources that schools, parents, and advocates can use to help overcome barriers to providing palatable drinking water to students.


NPLAN's resources can be used to lift barriers to water accessibility in schools—thus promoting a healthy alternative to the sugar-sweetened beverages that are widely available on school campuses.


To use the data from Dr. Patel's research to develop a legal and policy agenda for improving access to drinking water in schools.


NPLAN's resources can help surmount several barriers identified by Dr. Patel, including the acceptance of restrictive contracts with beverage companies, the misinterpretation of nutritional standards set forth in government programs, and the neglect of existing sources of tap water.


NPLAN's practical educational and policy tools aim to de-mystify the myriad of laws affecting water accessibility and promote strategies that increase water consumption in schools.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify barriers to providing palatable drinking water in schools. 2. Explain the legal issues implicated in the barriers to water accessibility. 3. Discuss the education and policy tools schools, parents, and advocates can use to increase the availability of drinking water on school campuses.

Keywords: School Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a staff attorney at Public Health Law and Policy and I work on public health law and policy issues.
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.