Magazine article USA TODAY

What's Really in Your Bottled Water?

Magazine article USA TODAY

What's Really in Your Bottled Water?

Article excerpt

Whatever the reasons--taste, safety, or other health concerns--current estimates are that one in six American households uses bottled water as the primary or sole source of drinking water. Shopping for bottled water requires a bit more savvy than many consumers realize, cautions Kay Stanfill, associate professor of nutritional sciences. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. "Most people expect that bottled water is free of pesticides, lead, and other chemicals they are trying to avoid. But this should not be assumed. Careful label reading is in order."

One "hidden" fact is that many of the new popular types of bottled water contain small amounts of fruit juices, which add calories and elevate them into the category of soft drinks. Others frequently include artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners such as sucrose or fructose.

"Some bottled water terminology also is confusing," Stanfill explains. "Sparkling water," for instance, may have had carbon dioxide added by the manufacturer. If the label says "naturally sparkling water," though, it means the water contains carbon dioxide that was present from the source and more may or may not have been added by the manufacturer. …

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