Tap water consumption and perceptions in united states latinx adults

Abigail T. Colburn, Stavros A. Kavouras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Insufficient water intake is associated with adverse health outcomes, including chronic disease prevalence and mortality. Adherence to Institute of Medicine total water intake (TWI) recommendations has been low in recent decades, and TWI has been consistently lower in Latinx adults compared with non-Hispanic (NH) white adults. While overall plain water intake is similar between Latinx and NH white adults, Latinx adults consistently consume significantly more bottled water and less tap water. The purpose of this review is to identify factors that may contribute to low water intake and low tap water intake, particularly in Latinx adults. The decision to drink water is complex and is influenced by a myriad of factors including context, environment, eating behaviors, geography, and beverage attributes. Plain water preferences appear to be related, in part, to perceptions of tap water safety as Latinx adults are significantly more likely to perceive their tap water as unsafe compared to NH white adults. Although recent investigations have not consistently or comprehensively evaluated the same factors, we have compiled their findings to describe the complex, interrelated determinants of tap water safety perceptions in Latinx adults. The present review proposes that perceptions are influenced by water insecurity, demographics, prior experiences, organoleptic (sensory) perceptions and availability and sources of information. Existing interventions designed to improve TWI primarily focus on improving access to water and/or educating individuals on the importance of hydration. However, this may not be sufficient in Latinx populations where water is not trusted. Future work should comprehensively assess these factors in Latinx samples and include validated plain water intake, TWI, and hydration status measures. A greater understanding of these relationships could inform interventions to improve TWI and hydration status in Latinx adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2999
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Bottled water
  • Hispanic adults
  • Hydration
  • Latino adults
  • Plain water intake
  • Tap water
  • Total water intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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