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Lure of Bottled Water May Not Be Health Driven

Users say convenience is what motivates their choice

FRIDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- While many people believe bottled water is healthy, they can't list any actual benefits, a new British study reports.

The finding, published in the journal BMC Public Health, stemmed from interviews that University of Birmingham researchers conducted with users of the university's sports center.

"The majority of participants believed that bottled water has some health benefits but that they were not necessarily significant or superior to the benefits provided by tap water," study leader Lorna Ward said in a news release from the journal's publisher. "Convenience and taste were more influential factors for participants when deciding to buy a bottle of water."

Some participants said they thought that bottled water was more "pure" and contained more minerals than tap water. But though many said they believed bottled water had health benefits, they felt those benefits were negligible. Convenience was the most common reason for buying bottled water.

"Our results suggest that the recent surge in bottled water consumption may not be motivated by beliefs about health benefits associated with bottled water," concluded Ward and her colleagues.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains the importance of drinking water.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: BioMed Central, news release, June 18, 2009

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