Michelle Obama made health and physical fitness a major part of her platform as First Lady, and her new campaign will promote people to drink more water, starting with one more glass per day.
The Obama administration touted statistics saying that 43 percent of the country does not drink enough water and seven percent of the country does not drink any water at all. Those estimates may be conservative, as some estimate that two-thirds of the US population does not drink enough water.
Apparently not even Michelle Obama can encourage people to do the most natural and essential action necessary for human survival without drawing some flak.
Their campaign, Drink Up, while slightly over the top, promotes a good message in our era of coffee, soda and energy drinks. Many people choose these options over water erroneously thinking they can replace the qualities of water, or ignoring the fact that they cannot.
But Michelle Obama and the Drink Up campaign don't come out and say those things, in an attempt to remain positive, not hurt business, not get sued, not act like they're preaching and not trying to institute big government rules. For this, they are drawing criticism for not going far enough.
Though these claims have some merit in that there isn't a scientifically supported minimum amount of water to drink per day, there are lots of reasons why the calorific, sugary caffeinated drinks so popular today aren't nearly capable of replacing water in our diets. But to get people to change their behavior, criticizing current choices is not the best start. Plus, if people drink one more glass of water, they will be less thirsty and hopefully less inclined to reach for the melted-corn sugar drink. And if you are already aware of the nutritional choices you are making and one of them is choosing to drink water, you probably know that this message isn't intended for you.
But, I suppose they have a point: if you can't demonize your opponent while trying to improve the health of ordinary citizens, you should definitely get out of politics in 2013.
Besides, this is a much better slogan than Drink Up!
Replace soda with water, yes. Remember that too much water can still be bad, though, and for most people we have no reason to believe that an extra glass of water will result in health benefits. Drinking a glass of water certainly shouldn't replace otherwise healthy behavior or give anyone a sense of confidence in their health that justifies subsequent unhealthy behavior. When you’re thirsty, yes, choose water over something with empty calories. If you’re thirsty from morning until night, figuratively or otherwise, see a doctor. Don’t let anyone who doesn’t know how much water you drink tell you to drink more water.