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. HEYDUDE

    Expect anything less?

    September 13, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    @Ronnie Jackson.

    "People who push pills."

    Precisely. Unless Dr. Goldfarb has published a peer-reviewed paper on the subject of water's effect on health, I'll feel free to ignore anything he says, along with all the other doctors bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.

    Plato despised doctors and democracy. On days like this, I wonder if he was right about the latter as well as the former.

    September 13, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Chris

    Considering that 75-80% of Americans are Chronically dehydrated, I don't see how this can be a good thing.

    September 13, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Mike

    Not a fan of Obama, but there is no harm in drinking water or more of it, and if your drinking a lot of water chances are you drink less pop or coffee/tea.

    I find it funny that a DR is saying dont drink more water!, I suppose if we all get healthy his profession would be gone.

    September 13, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I disagree with the so-called experts. I think severla other experts have said that keeping hydrated causes you to lose weight, because sometimes the body confuses thirst for hunger. Also, the more water you drink, the less likely you are to drink sodas.

    September 13, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Bob

    Jeez. I really want to see these "health experts". In fact, I want to see them in swimsuits. I know plenty of doctors who don't know the first thing about health. They prefer drugs and surgery when simply eating better and exercising would cure a majority of health issues. If you need heart surgery, go to a surgeon. If you never want to have to go to a heart surgeon, don't ask a doctor for advice, ask a dietician. The fact is the vast majority of people aren't properly hydrated which leads to all sorts of problems including overeating. If your urine isn't colorless, you're not getting enough water. This is so generally recognized that they even tell it to soldiers. The "here's some overpriced drugs from a pharmaceutical company that sent me to Las Vegas" may not like to give such advice, but they're like the mechanic who hates cars that are reliable and need little maintenance.

    September 13, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    These doctors are idiots, both of them. Their remarks are based upon their assumption-in their own words, now-that most people are sufficiently hydrated. So, if you're sufficiently hydrated, then drinking more water probably wouldn't help you. Goldfarb cites a study, but I wonder who was participating in the study.

    The vast majority of people do not drink 64 ounces of water per day. Instead, they walk around with dry mouth, halitosis, gingivitis, and don't understand why no one tells them "good night" at the end of the work day.

    September 13, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. annie

    Here we go again with Mrs. o.
    What has she done as !st lady in 4 1/2 yrs.
    Don't think many people pay attention to her.

    September 13, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. volsocal

    Depends on how much one had to drink the night before!

    September 13, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Gregg Teslovich

    The data I've seen over the past decades indicates that a significant percentage of Americans are under hydrated because our overly processed, fatty or sweetened foods dominate an entire day of consumption. Perhaps that psychological first step respite from our habit of satisfying oral and gastric messages with one glass of pure H2O has benefits beyond just hydration. Not all hydrations are equally beneficial.

    September 13, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Bob

    Of all the things these "experts" want to weigh in on, they choose this? I would like to see how healthy these experts are themselves. Do they have healthy bodies and habits or are these a bunch of doughy, old white guys? Seriously, no one can be hurt by following the advice "Drink more water" and a majority of Americans (who don't eat properly, overeat, and don't hydrate properly) can only be helped. I have to wonder the motive behind this. It wouldn't shock me to find if all these guys have cushy jobs and equally cushy butts and are diehard Republicans worried about having to pay taxes at a rate equal to their personal assistants.

    September 13, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. dashguy

    Just like her husband.

    September 13, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Person of Interest

    Seriously? Most American's don't drink enough water. When you say drink more water, they aren't talking to someone like me that drinks over 10 glasses of water a day. They would just assume that me being physically active and moderately intelligent I would know that I don't need to drink to the point of water poisoning. Do we have to make drinking a healthy amount of water a political thing?

    September 13, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. kirk

    Hey dobolina, isn't there a dog somewhere you can kick or something to make you feel better?

    September 13, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Hieu Nguyen

    First US lady is not wrong when she was taking about the advantage of drinking more water daily. Food consumed will
    go through a cycle of metabolism in human body to convert to necessary element for all parts of the body and eliminate substances not needed as acetonic acid and uric acid. Acetonic acid works as an anesthetic when its concentration in
    blood is high or too high, we have a sleepy feeling and uric acid can causes pain in joints an other parts of the body
    .Water help to dilute those substance and lower their concentration and eliminate by urination.Of course we feel much
    better like gain more energy after those things are out of our body.She didn't talk nonsense,just need explanation.
    Hieu Nguyen
    Toronto Pharmacist

    September 13, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. pazke

    Many people walk around in a state of chronic low hydration. For those people, drinking more water WILL make them healthier.

    September 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. dave

    It won't hurt you, but the 8 glasses of 8 oz water per day has been debunked my the medical profession for years. I would have though Mrs Obama would have known that, or at least her handlers would have researched it before she looked ignorant on the subject.

    September 13, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. kirk

    Haters gonna hate

    September 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Jay Nair

    If you are drinking more water, you are possibly staying off the colas and sugary juices for your hydration needs. Hopefully, that is what the FLOTUS was suggesting. Good advice, can't hurt.

    September 13, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Expect anything less?"

    That a fellow human being might unintentionally, but with the best of intentions, misspeak about something? Nope. I am, in fact, entirely unsurprised. Happens all the time. The part that doesn't happen all the time is the unjustifiable RWNJ hissy fit in response to it...although you guys are doing a bang-up job establishing that as the new normal.

    September 13, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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