Examining Recent Trends in the Racial Disparity Gap in Tap Water Consumption: NHANES 2011-2018

Asher Y. Rosinger, Anisha I. Patel, Francesca Weaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective As tap water distrust has grown in the US with greater levels among Black and Hispanic households, we aimed to examine recent trends in not drinking tap water including the period covering the US Flint Water Crisis and racial/ethnic disparities in these trends. Design Cross-sectional analysis. We used log-binomial regressions and marginal predicted probabilities examined US nationally-representative trends in tap and bottled water consumption overall and by race/ethnicity. Setting The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, 2011-2018. Participants Nationally-representative sample of 9,439 children aged 2-19 and 17,268 adults. Results Among US children and adults, respectively, in 2017-2018 there was a 63% (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR]:1.63, 95%CI: 1.25-2.12, p<0.001) and 40% (PR:1.40, 95%CI: 1.16-1.69, p=0.001) higher prevalence of not drinking tap water compared to 2013-2014 (pre-Flint Water Crisis). For Black children and adults, the probability of not drinking tap water increased significantly from 18.1% (95%CI: 13.4-22.8) and 24.6% (95%CI: 20.7-28.4) in 2013-14 to 29.3% (95%CI: 23.5-35.1) and 34.5% (95%CI: 29.4-39.6) in 2017-2018. Among Hispanic children and adults, not drinking tap water increased significantly from 24.5% (95%CI: 19.4-29.6) and 27.1% (95%CI: 23.0-31.2) in 2013-14 to 39.7% (95%CI: 32.7-46.8) and 38.1% (95%CI: 33.0-43.1) in 2017-2018. No significant increases were observed among Asian or white persons between 2013-14 and 2017-18. Similar trends were found in bottled water consumption. Conclusions This study found persistent disparities in the tap water consumption gap from 2011-2018. Black and Hispanics' probability of not drinking tap water increased following the Flint Water Crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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