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Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) contributes to increasing obesity rates because they are a highly caloric beverage with poor nutritional value. Substituting SSB consumption with water consumption will help to decrease obesity. Water consumption is affected by various factors, including water access, a clean water supply, SSB popularity, policies, recommendations, and individual perceptions. Little research has addressed water consumption in rural populations. We are investigating access to drinking water of residents of the rural multicultural town of Cuba, NM. A literature review is being conducted on the advantages of water consumption and adverse effects of SSBs. Field observations assessed access to water and water quality in schools. Federal, state and local requirements for water in schools are being reviewed. A modified version of the Nutrition Environment Measurements Survey will assess the availability and pricing of water in comparison to that of SSBs. An analysis of a transcribed meeting on community water consumption will provide information on the knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes of community members regarding their water supply and consumption rates. A geographic information system map will be used to document water sources and quality as previously determined by annual tests (2004-14). Our findings should provide information on environmental factors influencing water consumption in Cuba that inform development of a community guide to facilitate discussions about increasing water consumption in that community. This information will also contribute to research on increasing drinking water consumption in other rural communities.

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Environmental Factors Influencing Drinking Water Consumption and Access in Rural Communities: Cuba, New Mexico