The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today issued a statement in support of the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000, a science-based, consumer friendly report designed to assist Americans in improving their diets and overall health. IBWA urges all Americans to take the recommendations a step further and include drinking water as part of their daily diet regimen."In accordance with the guideline to increase physical activity, Americans must remember to drink plenty of water and replace the body fluids lost through sweating," said Stephen R. Kay, IBWA Vice President of Communications. "Proper hydration is key to healthy living and Americans should strive to drink eight 8-ounce servings of water each day, as health and nutrition experts recommend."The new guidelines reveal that tens of millions of Americans, including children and senior citizens, have poor diets and are overweight. Drinking water before and during meals is a safe, calorie-free way to help fill up, while at the same time preventing dehydration. Moreover, good old-fashioned water is the best replacement for beverages packed with sugar or beverages that act as diuretics (cause the body to lose water).IBWA recently released nationwide consumer survey findings in partnership with The Rockefeller University on the drinking habits of Americans in 14 major cities. "We found that even though an overwhelming majority of Americans know that drinking water enhances health, most don't drink as much per day as they should," Kay said. "To increase their daily water intake, people need easy access to water. We must encourage consumers, both young and old, to take advantage of the convenience, safety, and consistent quality of bottled water.More information on the consumer usage survey and hydration can be obtained online by visiting the IBWA web site at