September 13th, 2013
12:43 PM ET
12 months ago

A few drops of criticism for Michelle Obama's new initiative

Updated 9/13/2013 at 1:31pm

Washington (CNN) – The truth about water, first lady Michelle Obama says, is that drinking more can make you healthier. Except some health experts are critical of the advice, arguing that it simply doesn't hold water.

Obama this week was joined by the Partnership for a Healthier America in encouraging Americans to "drink up."

According to a release, the campaign is meant to "remind people that drinking more water helps you have more energy to do more, longer and with better focus."

Not so fast, experts told CNN's "New Day."

"There's no good evidence that drinking extra water is going to lead to a healthier existence," said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania.

The White House "decided to sort of support some of these urban myths that have been really debunked over the years," Goldfarb said.

Experts contacted by CNN said that Obama was on the right track but may have missed the mark. Health through hydration is not really about drinking more water for the most part, it's about drinking less soda and other sugary drinks.

Dr. John Dooley of Foxhall Internists had nothing but praise for the first lady's previous health campaign, arguing that it has a lot of science backing it up. The same cannot be said for the "drink up" campaign.

"The claims about extra water itself leading to extra health benefits, that's a bit overstated," Dooley said.


Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Nice one, guys. Mrs. Obama wasn't talking about drinking more water. She's talking about choosing water over sugary drinks.

    September 13, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    What is this water problems–leaving with immigration, gasoline hike, green energy public transportation etc. I don't understand this lady.

    September 13, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sounds like the usual nitpicking that is solely reserved for anything Obama.
    Water is good for you.
    Certainly better for you than sodas other drinks with a high sugar content.
    Drink up!

    September 13, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    Mrs. Obama didn't say anything about drinking EXTRA water, Dr. Goldfarb, and as a "doctor" you SHOULD be aware that many Americans don't drink enough water, but you got an undeserved 15 minutes of fame for your negative comment, so you're in the running for the right's new media darling. Enjoy it while it lasts, 'cause you just turned off half of your patients.

    September 13, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, for the love of God. Is there nothing not worth fighting over anymore in America?

    September 13, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Southeast

    You go FIRST Lady.

    September 13, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. just asking

    so is the first lady now in the business of pushing bottled water? let me guess... they all contributed a lot to obama's re-election campaign.

    oh wait, i get it now. we need to drink up because we are all living in those food deserts!

    September 13, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    Drinking water is a healthy alternative to soda and juices. I believe that is what she meant.

    September 13, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Data Driven

    Goldfarb reminds us why doctors aren't necessarily considered scientists. They may also be poor readers. Obama didn't say drink "extra" water; she said "drink water".

    Maybe doctors should refrain from commenting in public altogether unless they're submitting a theory for peer review.

    September 13, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Joan

    Come on. All credible health experts say that staying hydrated is really important for optimum health. That's why you can survive for a long time without food but not water. Don't you watch the Dr. Oz show? Drinking lots of water over sugary drinks makes good sense.. Her critics are really stretching here. So are the media outlets covering it.

    September 13, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Nanc

    I agree with Rudy, NYC. She just wanted people to drink water. A news man said, she should of taken advantage and said, choose water over pop. If she would of said, to drink water over any product, those companies would of jump on her immediately. There would of been a horrible back lash. She is trying to put out positive suggestions for people. You can choose to do what ever you want. The kids and adults drink too much pop and sugar drinks today.

    September 13, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. smith

    Give her break, she`s trying. Drinking more water has become the hip cool thing(as long its bottled water). Proper diet and exercise is the way to go.

    September 13, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Dr. Stanley Goldfarb said, "There's no good evidence that drinking extra water is going to lead to a healthier existence." Dr. try common sense.

    September 13, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Seth A Drekin

    Wow these people sound foolish. Everyone and anyone can tell you that drinking more than the necessary amount of water is not going to dramatically change your health. As I'm sure Mrs. Obama knows, the problem is that most people in this country do not drinking even close to the necessary amount of water per day. By encouraging people to drink more water, she is going to get them top stop drinking things that no not help at all or have negative impacts on your health.

    September 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Mr. Flibble

    *sigh and shakes head*
    She was referring to drinking water instead of junk like soda, energy drinks and kool-ade.

    September 13, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. rs

    Well, at least no one criticzed her for putting "a distrespecting foot" on the Presidential Desk like FOX did with the President earlier in the week.

    The Right HAS nothing, the Right IS nothing.....

    September 13, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. pgraham52

    “I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water,” Obama notes in a press release regarding her “#drink H2O” initiative. “That’s it – it’s really that simple. Drink just one more glass of water a day and you can make a real difference for your health, your energy, and the way you feel.”

    September 13, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. K baker

    Michelle is right ... drink more water and you will feel a whole lot better. Give it a try for a month ... start with 4 more glasses of water a day. You will be surprised.

    September 13, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. What's in that tea anyway?

    wait....has sister Sarah provided her usual criticism? can't wait .... sarcasm

    September 13, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. O'drama ya Mama

    OMG she told us to drink water, she is a socialist!! – GOP/Tea Trolls

    September 13, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    It is sound advice. Humans need fluid to survive, and if you drink plenty of water there will be less craving to satisfy thirst with sugary drinks. True, drinking 2 gallons of water a day won't make anyone healthier than drinking 1 gallon (assuming a moderate level of activity and climate), but water is essential to good health, and sugary drinks are horrible for health.

    September 13, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Good grief Ticker. Why are you making a mountain out of a mole hill? Controversy – the way of Fox noise.

    Where are your stories on that bizarre "news conference" Bachman, Steve King, and Gohmert gave in
    Egypt?
    Where is your story about Ted Cruz holding Jesse Helms up as his "hero"?

    Four idiots, two of which wanted or want to be President, and you pick on the First Lady and water?????

    September 13, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Brad

    Typical. The powers that be will not rest until she is hawking malt liquor.

    September 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. citizen

    Feeling thirsty is the first sign that you may be getting dehydrated. So, instead of choosing juices or sodas, you should really drink water. Apparently Mrs. Obama can't say anything without some "genius" adding his negative 2c!

    September 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Ask any nutritionist, fitness expert, doctor, your sergeant in the military, mom, grandma etc Staying hydrated and drinking at least 64 oz of water a day (if your a desk jockey, more if your active) is critical for good health. Go ahead and not like the lady for whatever reason makes you sleep at night, but her advice is still common sense.

    September 13, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
1 2 3 4