“Drink Up!” Says First Lady Michelle Obama

drink upIf there is one thing that can be said about the First Lady's healthcare initiatives; they are always somewhat controversial. But when she came out to hold a press conference last week encouraging American's to "drink up" it was met with a surprising backlash. All she was saying in this "Drink Up" campaign was that Americans need to drink more water, a topic that had never been in dispute – until now.

According to an Associated Press article, "Michelle Obama launches 'Drink up' effort to get Americans to drink more water," published in the New York Daily News, the first lady is getting behind a campaign that launched recently, encouraging people to drink more "plain old-fashioned water." She didn't specify if the water should come from a faucet, plastic water bottle or underground spring, but the message was clear: "Drink up!"

Listening to the seemingly never-ending commentary that followed her endorsement of "Drink Up," one might think she was encouraging young kids to drink alcohol. So vicious was the backlash that the news media even called in "health experts" to proclaim that Americans were already properly hydrated," and that "dehydration is not our problem." Not that they wanted to discredit the campaign's efforts to make American's healthier, but rather it was just another chance to take a cheap shot at the Obama White House.

The nationwide effort to increase water consumption is not a White House initiative. Michelle Obama is actually joining the nonpartisan, nonprofit group Partnership for a Healthier America as they launch a nationwide effort with the backing of entertainers, media companies, government, and the beverage industry. For Obama, the catalyst for this effort was her work with the anti-childhood obesity initiative. It was during this time that she learned about the importance of drinking more water.

In her kick-off of the Drink Up campaign, Mrs. Obama said it's really quite simple, just drink one more glass of water each day than you normally wood, and see your energy start to improve. After all, every system in the body depends on water, and water makes up of about 60 percent of our body weight. It is also a calorie-free beverage this inexpensive and readily available just about anywhere.

Why Drink Up Now?

Despite the recent trends indicating a dip in water consumption and declines in soda consumption, this awareness is still desperately needed. Health advocates blame sugars and other syrups found in soda to a rise in obesity. Plus, the information presented by the media was wrong; the people typically drink less than half of the recommended eight cups of water per day, so this is a necessary public forum.

So far reaching is this campaign that the "Drink Up" logo will soon be plastered on millions of packages of water bottles, as well as the water bottles themselves and more than 10,000 public drinking fountains. Support for this campaign has been voiced by the American Beverage Association as well as the International Bottled Water Association. Individual brands of bottled water, including Dasani, Deer Park, Aquafina and Poland Spring, are also on board. Even the Brita water filter company has endorsed it.

Unfair Media Scrutiny?

So why has it been so harshly criticized by the media? It may be that people are rejecting the "nationalization" of our healthcare in general. Maybe they simply tired of being told that they need to change this eating habit, stop drinking soda, cut back on caffeine and swear off of trans fat. It could just be the culmination of the nation's frustration with "White House campaigns" in general, but who knew all the "health experts" would be so willing to deny the need for more water consumption?

The truth is that there is nothing wrong with adding more water to you diet. The problem might have been that the campaign made some unsubstantiated claims. One claim was that drinking an additional glass of water would give people more energy and make them "feel better." The critics seemed to be hung up on that one because they say it lacks scientific evidence. Putting that aside for the moment, the net effect of this campaign will be that many more Americans will increase their water consumption, and there is nothing wrong with that!

Photo Courtesy of Domdeen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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