STANWOOD -- Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are joining forces on a new national program to help parents and caregivers better understand the importance and benefits of water as a critical part of the health and well-being of kids.

According to a study from the Water, Health and Nutrition Laboratory, 20% of kids in the U.S. don't drink water in a given day. The same 20% of kids consume twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages -- about 200 calories total -- than children who drink water.

"The fact that one in five children in this country don't drink water on a given day is a problem that doesn't get enough attention," said Cheryl Dreyer, senior regulatory and nutrition manager at NWNA. "Children who don't drink enough water are at higher risk for childhood obesity and other health issues. That's why Nestlé Waters North America is focused on helping parents instill important healthy hydration habits in kids early on."

NWNA and AAP are tapping into AAP's nationwide network of pediatricians to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of healthy hydration and provide ways to drink more water.

Facts, tips, printable handouts and other resources will be available to doctors' offices and parents through AAP's healthychildren.org website.

AAP and NWNA will work together throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021.

"Nestlé Waters North America is proud to team up with the AAP," said Tara Carraro, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at NWNA. "Our beverage company is committed to making the world a healthier place -- through our products, partnerships and policies -- and that includes championing drinking water, whether it's bottled, filtered or tap, as key part of a healthy lifestyle, especially for kids."

Teaching kids not only to consume less sugar, but also to drink more water is important to improve children's long-term health and to prevent obesity, which affects about 13.7 million U.S. children and adolescents aged 2-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Making water a primary drink choice is a great habit that parents can teach their children to improve their overall health," said pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, medical editor of HealthyChildren.org. "Being well-hydrated can improve a child's mood, memory and attention. Water is also important for growing bodies -- keeping joints, bones and teeth healthy, blood circulating and helping kids maintain a healthy weight into adulthood."