That weight loss is a worldwide obsession is established easily through the newer, weirder and more complicated diet trends that come up every day. But what is the key to losing weight? From ingesting tapeworms to stapling one’s ears to suppress the appetite, there is no dearth of suggestions for battling obesity.

A recent study, however, hints that the key to weight management might be far simpler and much more accessible – and it lies in drinking enough water!

Conducted by the University of Michigan, the study examined the link between hydration and obesity by analyzing a representative sample of 9,528 adults in the US, aged 18–64years. The scientists examined urine osmolality, which shows how concentrated the urine is, as an indication of whether or not a person might be dehydrated. These results were further compared with the body mass indexes (BMI) of all participating adults. The researchers found that people who weren’t adequately hydrated had higher BMIs than those who were.

Tammy Chang, lead author of the study, acknowledged that the link between hydration and weight needs further research, while adding that there were nevertheless direct benefits of drinking enough water. “Our findings suggest that hydration may deserve more attention when thinking about addressing obesity on a population level. Staying hydrated is good for you no matter what, and our study suggests it may also be linked to maintaining a healthy weight,” she said.

Among other things, dehydration is known to affect kidney function and cause fatigue, headaches and constipation, apart from impacting attention span and memory. General recommendations suggest 8-10 glasses of water intake, while a well-known diet tip is to drink a glass of water before meals to avoid overeating. Chang further added: “We often hear recommendations that drinking water is a way to avoid overeating because you may be thirsty rather than hungry.”

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